National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future



The attached Adopted Children Register Privacy Notice (170 KB PDF) tells you what happens to personal information held by NRS when a child is adopted.

I was adopted in Scotland. How can I trace my original birth entry?

We can provide details of your original birth entry if you were born in Scotland.

Please contact us using the email address below.

If you require information on ordering an older adoption certificate please go to How to order a certificate (also known as an official extract).

What might be revealed?

  • The original name under which you were registered
  • Further information about place and time of birth
  • Your mother's name and surname and possibly occupation
  • Your father's name, if recorded
  • The name and possibly the relationship of the person who registered the birth.

We will also advise where your Adoption Court Process papers are held and how to access them.

You can find further information in our Adoption Records guide.

Contact us

Write to:

The National Records of Scotland Adoption Unit
Room 3
General Register House
2 Princes Street

E-mail: [email protected]

You also have a statutory right to counselling services under the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007.

Is there any simple way of contacting my birth parents or contacting a child I have given up for adoption?

No. The independent agency Birthlink operates the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland. This was set up in 1984 at the request of birth parents who, unlike the adopted person, have no statutory rights to tracing events or gaining access to documents such as Court Papers. By registering on the Adoption Contact Register, you make yourself available to be contacted by any other birth relative who may be looking for you. The register is a database containing tens of thousands of people's details, and every time a new person joins, their details are checked against everyone else's to see if there is a match. 

The following people can register:

  • Any person born or adopted in Scotland (or where there is a close Scottish connection), who wishes to make contact with their birth family;
  • Any birth parent who wishes to make contact with the child they placed for adoption;
  • Any birth relative who wishes to make contact with the adopted person.

To register or find out more, please visit Birthlink website

Birthlink also offer several other services to adults affected by adoption, including search services, counselling, mediation, access to records and the after adoption information line.