Skip to main content
Isle of Man logo

Top of page

Size: View this website with small text View this website with medium text View this website with large text View this website with high visibility

8.3 Adoption Case Records

This chapter was added to the manual in February 2022.


  1. Purpose and Scope of Policy
  2. Procedure
  3. Security, Retention and Sharing of Records
  4. Access to Records by Professionals and Others

1. Purpose and Scope of Policy

The Isle of Man Adoption Minimum Standards requires that the Family Placement Service (FPS) has and implements a written policy that clarifies the purpose, format and content of information to be kept on the FPS files, on the child’s files, and on case files that relate to Family Finding, adoption, adoption support and Special Guardians.

This policy sets out expectations of supervising social workers in relation to written records made and information that is kept by adopters on individual children and prospective and approved adopters.

The FPS keeps records in accordance with the requirements of:

This policy applies to all records kept in respect of all Looked After Children, who have a plan of adoption or who are placed in an adoptive placement and any children/young people or adults that require support post adoption or Special Guardianship Order.

2. Procedure


Once Permanence and Legal Decision Making Panel has ratified a plan of adoption, the child’s social worker must make a referral to FPS for Family Finding. The referral is allocated to a supervising social worker, via the Adoption Practice Lead, and a file will be created on the shared drive by FPS admin. If there is more than one child, a file must be created separately, for each child. The adoption records must be separate from the child’s electronic file.

Care must be taken to ensure that child’s file (where the child’s social worker records) does not contain any information with regards to their new identity, adopters or adoption address. All adoption case files are accessed on a need to know basis and are locked down to all staff, apart from those staff, in the adoption service, who have case responsibility. The supervising social worker will need to ensure that any minutes and chronologies of family finding efforts are anonymised and provided to the child’s social worker. It is the responsibility of the child’s social worker to ensure that the adoption information is uploaded on the child’s file, along with a case note and added to the file chronology, where necessary.

Applicants to adopt

An Adoption Case Record should also be opened for every prospective adopter as soon as the enquiry has been received. In the case of a couple, a joint case record is required. This also applies to foster carers, wishing to be considered as adopters. All files of this nature will only be accessible by the Family Placement Service.

3. Security, Retention and Sharing of Records

In cases where an Adoption Order is made, children’s adoption records will be retained for a minimum of 100 years after the Adoption Order is made.

The child’s Social Worker will need to ensure that the child’s file is complete, upon closure, and will ensure that the file contains the Later in Life letters, Life Story Book, details of post-adoption contact plans and Adoption Support Plan(s). Where adoption records are to be destroyed, they must be shredded and treated as confidential waste.

Any adoption records being sent electronically should be password protected or encrypted, for example the Agency Medical Adviser’s summary.

The adoption agency may disclose an adoption case record to another adoption agency, as it thinks fit for the purposes of safeguarding.

4. Access to Records by Professionals and Others

For access to records by adopted persons, their birth families or adoptive families, such requests need to be made to the Adoption Practice Lead, who will then allocate to a supervising social worker.

The Supervising Social Worker will record the information and any discussions held with the referrer on their electronic file.