UK: New Adoption Rules Make it Easier to Trace Family Tree, Get Educational Entitlements
United Kingdom, Sept 29, 2014: The government established new rules to help facilitate “contact between ‘persons with a prescribed relationship’ and the birth relatives of a person adopted before 30 December 2005”.
Descendants now able to discover more of their medical background even if adopted due to a new rules. Previously, ONLY the adoptee and their birth relatives were able to utilize specialized adoption agencies to help research family history and make contact other family members.
Under the new rules, “persons with a prescribed relationship’ as anyone related to an adopted person by blood (including half-blood), marriage or civil partnership or by virtue of the adoption. This will include all relatives of the adopted person, including but not limited to the children and grandchildren of adopted persons” can gain access to information about their ancestors’ lives, research family history, discover their medical background and contact other family members. The consent of the adopted party is required before making contact UNLESS a) the person is seeking information that does not reveal identifying info, b) the adopted person cannot be found to give consent or c) the adopted person dies or is unable to give consent. The information will be shared through a government-run intermediary agency.
Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson: “It’s right that descendants and other relatives of adopted adults are able to access important information, such as medical records or genetic health conditions, which could impact upon how they live their life today.
They should also be able to find out about important events from their past, as well as make contact with family members if they wish.
“This positive change will help thousands of people discover their place in history, while keeping important safeguards in place to protect the right to a private family life for those who were adopted.”
Julia Feast OBE, from the British Association for Fostering and Adoption (BAAF): “We are very pleased that the government has extended the rights of descendants and other relatives to access an intermediary service whilst ensuring that the adopted person’s rights are not overlooked and will be at the centre of the decision making.”
Other reforms include:
Establishing a fund of £19.3 million fund to assist adopted children as they settle into their new families by offering support services and offering extended educational entitlements for adopted children.
Also, the government has published the Adoption Passport which provides all the rights and entitlements of adoptive parents, alongside new online maps to help potential adoptive families to gain information about services in their area. First4Adoption is the government funded information service for people interested in adopting a child.
The new rules will take effect by November 2014.
I personally have to wonder how much information is being shared, and if this could lead to privacy violations or safety concerns? I personally would not like someone digging up my medical records and having access to that information–at any time. It would be scary to go into a website and dig up private information about your ancestor which could easily be shared or made public. And what happens for children conceived out of rape or whose family member experienced domestic violence, what safety precautions are taken then?
And do you really want the government to be the gatekeeper to your family’s genealogy and personal information? What kind of database is the UK government creating on its population anyways?
We will just have to see how this plays out… because this article does not offer alot of info.
Source: Go.Uk Press Release, 9/25/2014, “Relatives of adopted adults now able to trace family tree”: http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed133086
Entry filed under: Historical Information & Tidbits. Tags: Adopted Children, Adoptee, Adoption, Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson, Department for Education, family, family history, Family Medical Information, Family Reunion, Family Tree, First4Adoption, genealogy, Improving Adoption System, Unite Kingdom Adoption Rules.