SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This applies only to adoption orders made before 30 December 2005.
With effect from 31 October 2014, the Adoption Information and Intermediary Services (Pre-Commencement Adoptions) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 extend rights to intermediary services to all 'persons with a prescribed relationship' with an adopted person, i.e. anyone related to an adopted person by blood (including half-blood), marriage or civil partnership or by virtue of the adoption.
In November 2020, this guidance was updated to reflect that Intermediary Services in Derby are now provided by Adoption East Midlands (the regional adoption agency) rather than the local authority.
Derby City Council uses a Strengths Based Approach for all work with children and families.
- What are Intermediary Services?
- Who May Apply for Intermediary Services?
- Where to Seek Further Support
On 30 December 2005, legislation came into force assisting persons adopted before that date to obtain information about their adoption and to facilitate contact between them and their birth relatives.
With effect from 31 October 2014, further legislation extended this to persons having a Prescribed Relationship with an adopted person. This will include all relatives of adopted adults, from children and grandchildren to civil partners and adoptive relatives. Intermediary agencies may accept applications from a person with a Prescribed Relationship to an adopted person for assistance in contacting a relative of an adopted person and vice versa. This allows, for example, descendants to obtain information about family medical history in relation to inherited diseases.
2. What are Intermediary Services?
Intermediary services are defined as:
- Assisting adopted persons who were adopted before 30th December 2005 and are 18 or over, to obtain information in relation to their adoption;
- Facilitating contact between such adopted persons and their relatives; and
- Facilitating contact between persons with a Prescribed Relationship to an adopted person and relatives of the adopted person.
Local authorities do not have a statutory duty to provide such a service but where they do so, the Regulatory Authority should be notified.
Intermediary agencies and those involved in providing information to such agencies may charge a fee.
In all cases, the provision of an intermediary service involves:
- Establishing that the applicant/subject/adopted person are 18 or over;
- Undertaking preparatory work with the applicant, including the provision of information about the available services and the possible impact of using them, including the Adoption Contact Register and qualified and absolute vetoes;
- Obtaining information from a range of sources (adoption agencies, the Registrar General, the Courts);
- Using the information to trace and contact individuals;
- Obtaining the relevant informed consent;
- If consent has been obtained, disclosing to the applicant in appropriate cases the information obtained by the intermediary agency;
- Acting as an intermediary between the parties, and facilitating contact/information-sharing between them;
- Providing counselling, support and advice to the parties about the process.
3. Who May Apply for Intermediary Services?
Provided that the applicant/subject/adopted person are aged 18 or over, an intermediary agency may accept an application from:
- An adopted person for assistance in contacting a relative of his;
- A relative of an adopted person for assistance in contacting;
- The adopted person; or
- A person with a Prescribed Relationship to the adopted person; or
- A person with a Prescribed Relationship to an adopted person for assistance in contacting a relative of an adopted person.
The Adoption Agency will consider applications from residents of the local authority area or where the adoption was arranged by their service or where the Adoption Case Record is held by the service.
4. Where to Seek Further Support
Derby Local Authority no longer manage Intermediary Services. Applicants should be signposted to Adoption East Midlands who will be able to provide information on specialist organisations who can help and support with Intermediary Services; alongside providing further information and guidance.