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adoption in the 1930's

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adoption in the 1930's

Postby pathastings » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:54 pm

When a relative was dying they talked of a baby they gave up for adoption before they met their husband.
Based on her birth date this would be in the 1930's probably 1935-38
I obviously know her name but I do not know where she had the baby...so far I have listed all the possibilities with KWH as the mother but there are over 100...I don't want to have to buy all these certificates any ideas on how to reduce the number or work form the opposite end and find the adoption?
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Re: adoption in the 1930's

Postby meekhcs » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:59 pm

We had an adoption in the Family at a similar time. As happened very often at this time the baby was born in a Salvation Army Hospital for unmarried mothers. It may be worth an email to them BUT I suspect they may not be able to give you any info without the baby's name as well as the Mother's. However nothing ventured.......
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Re: adoption in the 1930's

Postby meekhcs » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:10 pm

This is the contact address for the Salvation Army
heritage@salvationarmy.org.uk
The gentleman who responded to me was Kevin Pooley the Social Historian but this was 5 years ago, and it maybe someone else in the position now.
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Re: adoption in the 1930's

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:52 pm

I think you need to be clear about what you expect to find. With adoption being such a sensitive subject, the chances of you getting any details about the birth that might identify the person are basically zero.

What I am not sure about is whether the original birth certificate remains in the system. I might be getting completely muddled but I think the original certificate may be withdrawn from circulation as it were to avoid someone accidentally finding it. I could be talking nonsense so would appreciate any feedback.

If I'm wrong and the original certificate remains in the register, then you need to work out how you would recognise it if you came across it. That may not be simple given that you're not certain where and when the birth took place.

Sorry if this sounds negative but the formal adoption process is designed for confidentiality. And it doesn't help that I'm writing this from a position of ignorance right now. But I feel it important to highlight the privacy issues.

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Re: adoption in the 1930's

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:02 am

Seriously difficult to reply and research at the same time on a smartphone. But I have now found this link https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/resear ... ntent-262/

Assuming that I am reading it correctly, the original birth certificate is marked as adopted, access prohibited and an entry in the private adoptions register replaces the original birth certificate. In which case, you will not be able to find anything from the birth certificates.

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Re: adoption in the 1930's

Postby peter kent » Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:46 am

but there are over 100...I don't want to have to buy all these certificates


Of course you don't want to buy them all.

What you can do is much cheaper -

1. List all the possible candidates in the GRO index (you've already done this).

2. Check each possible candidate by examining the scan of the original page of the index.

3. Discard any which do not have a marginal manuscript note (probably ending in /S).

With luck that should bring the list down to a tiny handful.

What you're doing here is selecting only cases where there has been an amendment to the original certificate. There are various reasons why this may have happened, the most important from your point of view being the addition of the word "Adopted" and signature of the Superintendent Registrar in the right hand margin.

Good hunting!
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Re: adoption in the 1930's

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:26 am

Can such amended original birth certificates be accessed by the usual GRO ordering process? I thought from what I read last night that the answer was not but I may have misunderstood - all the stuff on adoption seems to be written from the point of the adoptee and the restrictions placed on their access to their birth data.

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Re: adoption in the 1930's

Postby peter kent » Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:28 am

Can such amended original birth certificates be accessed by the usual GRO ordering process?


My understanding is that they can be ordered in the usual way. After all, this is what adoptees would aim to do if they wanted to trace their biological ancestry (after going through the usual legal hoops).

The certificate wouldn't show any more than just "Adopted". There won't be any details of the adoption (no adoptive surname!) so you wouldn't be able to trace the child's later life.
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Re: adoption in the 1930's

Postby meekhcs » Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:50 am

The other thing I should have mentioned in my post is that the person concerned was adopted and brought up by the grandmother so remained within the Family unit. Whilst the Salvation Army were unable to confirm the birth they were able to confirm that the Mother had passed through their system and when. From that I was able to find the birth. The birth took part in a totally different part of the country.
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Re: adoption in the 1930's

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:15 am

peter kent wrote:... My understanding is that they can be ordered in the usual way. ... The certificate wouldn't show any more than just "Adopted". There won't be any details of the adoption (no adoptive surname!) so you wouldn't be able to trace the child's later life.


Hmm. Curious. Thanks, Peter. I have to say that if I were designing the system, I'd stop the issue of such original birth certificates. As it is, if I had an "adopted" annotation on a BC, I'd know the adoptee's exact birth date. Then place a number of small ads in newspapers asking for people who were adopted and born on date X to get in contact with me. So far as I can see there'd be no more than 15 to a dozen such potential people so a good chance of contacting the right person - and bang, I've broken through all the processes in place to ensure counselling, etc, etc.

Still, that's just my personal view based on today's best practice of obscuring as much as possible. And the more I try to Google "clarifications", the more confused I get.
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