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5.3.13 Adoption Case Records


See Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records Procedure.


In April 2019, this procedure was updated to reflect local practice.


  1. Opening an Adoption Case Record
  2. Contents
  3. Security and Retention of Records

1. Opening an Adoption Case Record

1.1 Children

An Adoption Case Record for a child must be opened by the social worker as soon as there is an adoption plan for the child i.e. once adoption has been identified as the permanence plan for the child at a Looked After Review or, where a child has been relinquished for adoption, as soon as the parent's request for adoption has been made. The Adoption Case Record is separate from the child's existing ICS case record.

The child's existing case record should indicate that a separate Adoption Case Record exists and must not include information in relation to the new identity or address of the child or any information whereby the child's pre- and post-adoption identity could be linked. Such information should only be contained on the Adoption Case Record. This principle applies to information kept in any form.

Where the plan relates to siblings, there must be a separate Adoption Case Record for each child.

There is a subfolder in Wisdom labelled 'Adoption Case Record' for this purpose.

At, or before, the point at which a child is matched to potential adopters the ACL lock must be applied. This restricts access to the case file to help preserve the confidentiality of adoption and the child's future identity.

1.2 Applicants to Adopt

A Case Record is also opened by Cambridgeshire Coram Adoption for every prospective adopter as soon as a formal application has been received. In the case of a couple, a single record can be set up for them both. This also applies to foster carers wishing to be considered as adopters.

2. Contents

2.1 Children

The following elements are required by Adoption Agencies Regulations, Regulation 12:

  • The Child's Permanence Report;
  • The written record of the proceedings of the Adoption Panel, its recommendation and the reasons for its recommendation and any advice given by the panel to the ADM;
  • A record of the Agency Decision Maker's decision and the notification of the decision to parents/guardians;
  • Any consent to placement for adoption under section 19, Adoption & Children Act 2002 (placing children with parental consent);
  • Any consent to the making of a future adoption order under section 20 of that Act (advance consent to adoption);
  • Anything withdrawing consent under section 19 or 20;
  • Anything stating that a parent does not wish to be informed of any application for an Adoption Order, or withdrawing such a statement;
  • Any Placement Order, along with any associated court orders.

The following are also required:

  • The Adoption Order;
  • Adoption Support Plan (including contact arrangements);
  • The child's original birth certificate and birth details (time, weight, type of delivery etc.);
  • Description and details (including family tree) of their birth family and household;
  • Photographs, certificates, other significant personal mementos and Life Story Book;
  • Later Life Letter(s).

The following are required by the Disclosure of Adoption Information (post commencement) Regulations 2005, Regulation 4. Any that are received before adoption and case closure should be added:

  • Any information provided by a birth parent or relative or other significant person, with the intention that the adopted person may, should they wish to, be given that information;
  • Any information supplied by the adoptive parents or other persons which is relevant to matters arising after the making of the adoption order;
  • Any information that the adopted person has requested should be kept;
  • Any information from the Registrar General under section 79(5) of the 2002 Act (information that would enable an adopted person to obtain a certified copy of the record of his birth);
  • Any information received about an entry relating to the adopted person on the Adoption Contact Register;
  • Any protected information that has been disclosed about the adopted child, who it has been shared with and why, and any written agreement to share such information.

At the point of case closure following adoption, the contents of the Adoption Case Record must be checked and any missing documents added before the case is approved for closure.

Information received after adoption and case closure would normally be received by Coram Cambridgeshire Adoption. They will also hold an Adoption Case Record for the child, to which the information will be added.

Those working for CCA to deliver services to adopted adults will be made aware that the Adoption Case Record will be in two parts.

2.2 Applicants to Adopt

  • All the information obtained about them in relation to the application for approval, including the Prospective Adopter's Report, photographs etc.
  • The outcome of all relevant checks;
  • Information from references;
  • All relevant Panel minutes and the Agency Decision-Maker's decisions in relation to the suitability of the adopters and the placement of the child with them;
  • Assessments, correspondence and signed agreements relating to post-adoption contact;
  • The Adoption Support Plan;
  • Any other key correspondence and documents;
  • Itemised List of information supplied to adopters;
  • Reports of visits to the adopters.

Note: Where a child is placed with adopter(s) approved by another adoption agency, a Case Record for the prospective adopters must still be set up and maintained as above.

3. Security and Retention of Records

All Adoption Case Records must be stored securely. Should it be necessary to send any part of an Adoption Case Record by post, the information should be placed in a sealed plain envelope and marked 'PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL'. Anything sent externally should be delivered by hand if possible, or sent by recorded delivery.

Where an Adoption Order is made, children's Adoption Case Records will be retained for a minimum of 100 years after the Adoption Order is made.

An adoption agency may disclose an adoption case record to another adoption agency as it thinks fit for purposes related to its functions or the receiving agency's functions as an adoption agency (s.2 The Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018, amending 8(2) of the Disclosure of Adoption Information (Post-Commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005).