Expression of Wish – Contacting an adopted adult by a birth relative
What do I have to do?
This is an opportunity for a birth relative to record their wish on the adopted child’s file that they would or would not want to be contacted by the adopted person from the age of 18, or by an Intermediary Agency on the adopted person’s behalf. This is called an Expression of Wish.
An Expression of Wish is not a legally binding document. It is offered by Bradford Adoption Service as an opportunity for a birth relative to have their views regarding contact recorded. Once the birth relatives have recorded their wish about contact they can come back at anytime to change a previously recorded wish.
How to place an expression of wish
The birth relative may get in touch with the Adoption support service to discuss the implications of making an Expression of Wish. If the birth relative requests this, it will then be recorded on the adopted child’s adoption record.
Bradford has an arrangement that After Adoption Yorkshire, our local Intermediary Agency, may assist a birth relative in placing an Expression of Wish. This will be registered on the adopted person’s adoption file held by Bradford.
What is a Veto?
A Veto is an opportunity for an adopted adult to place on their adoption record their wish not to be contacted by an Intermediary Agency on behalf of a birth relative.
There are two types of Veto:
- An absolute Veto states that the adopted person does not wish to be approached under any circumstances.
- A qualified Veto states that the adopted person is willing to be approached in limited circumstances specified by the adopted person.
Such circumstances may include specifying a particular birth relative from whom an approach may or may not be welcome, or the provision of information about a hereditary medical condition.
Where an Absolute Veto is in place, the adoption agency may pass on important information (for example, about a hereditary medical condition) to the adopted person if it considers the circumstances are sufficiently exceptional so as to warrant making contact.
How long does a Veto last?
A Veto remains in place until the adopted person chooses to amend or withdraw it.
Who can register a Veto?
Any adopted person over the age of 18 who was adopted before 30 December 2005.
How to place a Veto
The adopted person must get in touch with the adoption agency who arranged their adoption as this agency will hold their adoption record. An Adoption Support Social Worker will meet with the adopted person, will ask to see proof of identity and will ensure the person fully understands the implications of placing a Veto.
Bradford has an arrangement that After Adoption Yorkshire may assist an adopted person in placing a Veto. This will be registered on the person’s adoption record by Bradford.
What is an Intermediary Agency?
This is an independent agency that offers a service to all those involved in adoption.
An Intermediary Agency may be approached by a birth relative for assistance in tracing and getting in touch with an adopted person. Before taking any such action, the Intermediary Agency must first establish whether the adopted person has placed a Veto on their file. If there is a Veto in place, the Intermediary Agency cannot proceed any further unless the conditions of a Qualified Veto are met.
An Intermediary Agency may be approached by an adopted person for assistance in tracing and getting in touch with a birth relative. Before taking any such action, the Intermediary Agency would establish whether the birth relative has placed an Expression of Wish on the adopted child’s file.
After Adoption Yorkshire is the local Intermediary Agency.
What is the adoption contact register?
This is a nationally held register on which an adopted person or a birth relative can place a wish for contact or no contact. An Intermediary Agency must take note of any information regarding a wish for contact or no contact held by the Adoption Contact Register.
Contact information for Expression of Wishes and Vetoes
Adoption Contact Register
Telephone: 0151 471 4830
After Adoption Yorkshire
31 Moor Road
Telephone: 0113 278 6487