Learn about what an adoption certificate is, and how we can carry out the notarisation and apostille.

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  1. What is an adoption certificate?
  2. How was the adoption certificate issued?
  3. Process for notarising and legalising an adoption certificate

What is an adoption certificate?

An adoption certificate is issued to an adopted person following the granting of an Adoption Order by the UK courts.

The Adoption Order is sent to the General Register Office (GRO), who make an entry in the Adopted Children Register.  A new birth certificate is then produced by the GRO, and this is known as an adoption certificate. It generally takes approximately 4 weeks for an adoption certificate to be issued once an Adoption Order has been granted.

The GRO can issue a short form adoption certificate or a full certificate.  The short form certificate makes no reference to the adoption and is titled Certificate of Birth.  The full certificate contains all the information recorded on the Adopted Children Register.

A full certificate will contain the following information:

  1. Registration district, sub-district and county of birth
  2. Full adopted name of person born
  3. Date of birth
  4. Adoptive Father’s full name
  5. Adoptive Mother’s full name
  6. Address of adoptive parents
  7. Occupation of adoptive parents (not always shown)
  8. Date of Adoption Order
  9. Court where the adoption was administered
  10. Date the entry was registered
  11. Signature of the appointed officer
  12. Date the certificate was produced

Typically, a full certificate will be needed for administrative purposes as this contains more information.

Additional and replacement copies, can be ordered from the General Register Office.

How was the adoption certificate issued?

An adoption certificate will only be issued in physical format by the General Register Office.

Process for notarising and legalising an adoption certificate

As an adoption certificate is issued by the General Register Office, it can be apostilled without being notarised.  You will need to submit the original physical document sent to you directly by the General Register Office.  The original physical document can still be notarised if needed, however we cannot notarise a photocopy. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will not apostille a photocopy of the adoption certificate.

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