Court Process

Sheriff Court / National Records of Scotland

At the time of adoption legal documents are lodged with the Sheriff Court who granted the adoption order. These legal papers are known as the Court Process and the adopted person has the right to see them.

After a certain period (this varies from Court to Court), these records are archived centrally at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh (NRS). A letter or phone call to the Sheriff Clerk of the Court will enable you to find out the location of your Court Process papers and you can make arrangements to read them. Birthlink staff can help you identify their current whereabouts and suggest how you may access the papers.

Should you wish Birthlink to act on your behalf in this respect we request that you complete the Court Process Leaflet, together with a letter of authority signed by you and your NRS reference number if available. Please also send a copy of your full adoption certificate.

Searching for your origins

Adopted and fostered people searching for their origins often require, at some stage, to look at the records of Births, Marriages and Deaths which are held at National Records of Scotland.

Any member of the public can go along and conduct a search. The Public Room is open 9.00 am – 4.30 pm Monday to Friday. 

If you are unable to go yourself, Birthlink can arrange a search of the records at your request.

National Records of Scotland
New Register House, Edinburgh EH1 3YT

Tel. 0131 314 4300

This must be booked in advance through Scotland’s People with a seat fee of £15 payable in advance.