National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future



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

We can provide an extract of your original birth entry if you were born in Scotland. There will be a fee of £15 for this service. Contact us using the email address or telephone numbers given below.

What might be revealed?

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

This information may also give you a lead into Adoption records or Adoption Agency records. You will also be told the location of your Court records. Many older records are held in General Register House and it may therefore be possible to see these papers at the same time as you are given details of your original birth name (subject to confirmation of identity).

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]

Telephone: 0131 535 1355 or 0131 535 1383

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.