Friday, 29 January 2016

Review - Researching Adoption, by Karen Bali

Karen Bali's latest genealogy guide book, published by Family History Partnership (, is entitled Researching Adoption: An essential guide to tracing birth relatives and ancestors. At 48 pages, and just £4.95 (plus p&p), the book is a useful and well illustrated ready reckoner for those of you seeking to research adoption as carried out in England and Wales.

The books has five key chapters - an Introduction, exploring what adoption actually entails, and whether your family has been historically affected by 'adoption in' or 'adoption out'; a History of Adoption, both before legalised adoption took place in England and Wales, and after (legalised adoption was in place from January 1927); Adoption in Your Ancestry, looking at case studies of historical adoption; Records and Resources for adoption research, the key part of the book, examining the Adoption Children's Register, poor law union records, charity records, the Child Migration Trust, and more; and If you were adopted, a guide for those seeking to trace their biological heritage back if adopted. A final Contacts, Resources and Further Reading section provides some useful addresses and numbers to help you on your way.

Although predominantly looking at English adoption, much of the book may well provide some useful options for Scottish research also, with the contacts section including details of the NRS Adoption Unit in Edinburgh.

A short, concise, but packed book of information, this is well worth adding to the family history library.

For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit My Pinterest account is at

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