National Records of Scotland

Original Birth Extract / Adoption Certificate / Court Process

National Records of Scotland

In order to register on the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland you will need a copy of your original birth extract. You can obtain a copy of this by contacting the National Records of Scotland, Adoption Unit on 0131 535 1355 or 1383 or adoptions@nrs.gov.uk.
The birth extract can provide information about:
  • the time and place of birth

  • the original name under which you were registered

  • your mother’s name and surname and possibly occupation

  • your father’s name, if recorded, and

  • the name and possibly the relationship of the person who registered the birth.

Court Process

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 a payment of £45.00, completed request form, together with a letter of authority signed by you and your NRS reference number if available. Please also send copies of both your original birth certificate and 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.

Are you a birth relative?

In order to register on the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland, looking for an adopted person, you will require a copy of their original birth extract.

You can obtain a copy of this by contacting the National Records of Scotland, Adoption Unit on 0131 535 1355 or 1383 or adoptions@nrs.gov.uk.