Support for adopted adults

We have commissioned Barnardo's Connecting Adoptive Families Independent Service (CAFIS) to provide independent and confidential support to adopted adults in Bexley, Kent and Medway.

If you live outside of these areas, but can show that Bexley, Kent, and Medway were the Appropriate Adoption Agency (AAA) who dealt with your adoption and you're willing to travel to Kent to meet with CAFIS then they can also offer you a service.

Access to your birth records

All adopted adults are entitled to information about their birth families.

Adopted before 31 December 2005

If you were adopted before 31 December 2005 then the information will be taken from any files and shared with you along with copies of documentation such as:

  • a medical or welfare report
  • a copy of your adoption certificate.

CAFIS can also help you to get a copy of your original birth certificate.

Adopted after 31 December 2005

If you were adopted after 31 December 2005, information regarding your birth family and the reasons for your adoption will have been recorded when you were adopted. You are entitled to see this information which may include:

  • a later life letter
  • child permanence report (CPR)
  • life story book.

CAFIS can also help you to get a copy of your original birth certificate.

Contacting your birth family

When you receive your records, you may decide that you'd like to make contact with your birth family. If you do, CAFIS can help.

Before you begin your journey with CAFIS, they will talk to you about what to expect and what might happen.

They may advise you that now isn't the right time to make contact. If that's the case, they will provide you with the support you need which may include counselling.

If it is the right time to make contact, CAFIS will need to confirm your identity and your relationship with the person you're looking to get in touch with.

You may have been in touch with your birth family over the years, so it may feel like you know them already. Even if that's the case, CAFIS would recommend that you view records or information first, so that you can make an informed decision.

If you know the contact details of your birth relatives, CAFIS can help you get in touch.

If you don't know their contact details, you'll need to employ and pay for a registered searcher. CAFIS can help you find a searcher or you can do your own research and come back to them to make contact with your birth family on your behalf. If you choose to use a searcher CAFIS have recommended, they will ask  you to sign an agreement to confirm that you won't get any information if the birth family member doesn't want it to be passed on.

Supporting you through the process

CAFIS will arrange a meeting with one of their experienced members of staff who will assess your needs. They will discuss what might happen again, to make sure that you are emotionally ready, as well as discussing any other support that you may need.

CAFIS have a duty of care to everyone they come into contact with and they may not feel that getting in touch is the right way forward. If this is the case, and you disagree with their view, CAFIS will take you through the options available to you. You'll either be able to make a complaint, or if you were adopted after 31 December 2005, have your case reviewed by a panel known as the Independent Reviewing Mechanism (IRM).

Contact CAFIS

If you want to know more about the process, or want information about counselling or other support for birth relatives, email, or call 01795 532081.