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Controlling contact with your birth family

If you're adopted, when you reach 18, you can specify whether or not you would like to be contacted by your birth relatives, and which birth relatives you would like to have contact with. You can do this by registering a veto.

A veto only applies to adoption agencies and intermediary services - it does not prevent birth families from approaching you directly, eg they could contact you through Facebook or other social media channels.

Types of veto

There are two forms of veto, an absolute veto or a qualified veto. You can cancel or alter a veto at any time.

Absolute veto

This means that you will not be contacted by an intermediary service under any circumstances and we will not contact you on behalf of any birth family relatives.

If you decide you want this, we'll discuss it with you so that you fully understand the implications of your decision. If we do get any contacts they will be added to your adoption record should you want to access them in the future.

Qualified veto

This specifies the circumstances in which you would be happy to be contacted by an intermediary on behalf of a birth relative. It means you can say which family members you would like contact with and which you don't.

Again we will discuss this with you to make sure you understand the significance for everyone involved.

How to register, change or cancel a veto

Contact us to start with. We will put you in touch with an adoption social worker to discuss your reasons. We'll also need to meet with you to check your identity.

Adoption Contact Register

You can also register with the Adoption Contact Register to say you don't wish to be contacted by birth family members.