Following stories on social media, I have discovered how desperate so many women and men are to trace their birth mothers, and how women, who ‘gave away’ their baby in adoption, long to contact their child now they are adult. Reading their words, has made me re-consider the whole practice of, what was, if not forced, the automatic adoption of the babies of young unmarried women. It seemed the best thing to do at the time. For all those involved, the references below might help.
General Register Office indexes are available at: www.gro.gov.uk
Newspapers at: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
Subscription Websites include: www.findmypast.co.uk
But www.workhouses.org.uk is free.
For adoptions after 1926
www.hscic.gov.uk/register-service for how to access information.
The 1998 Data Protection Act gives the right to any NHS records about you. Apply via your GP.
Since November 2014, legislation should enable all relatives of adopted adults to find out about their birth family.
Although these sites are in the public domain, I’m indebted to Gill Rossi for her book A History of Adoption in England and Wales 1850-1961 for making this information readily available. The book is published by Pen & Sword Books. https://pen-and-sword.com. At £11.99 + postage. If you want to read all there is to know about adoption, I recommend you buy it.
The social media sites are on Facebook and they are: Adopted in England; Adopted in the UK; Adoption Voices and The Lost Mothers of Adoption.
Following the chat on social media has also taught me that reconciliations do not always go as expected. Sometimes the responses are hurtful. Before you begin on this journey, find someone to hold your hand along the road. Talking is always good.
To quote Gill Rossini, ‘You are strongly urged to read (below) as part of your research.’ www.adoptionssearchreunion.org.uk/contact/socialnetworking
Finally, if you can, you might like to visit The Foundling Museum, London, WC1
Tel: 0207 841 3600