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If you wish to request contact with someone who has been adopted to Norway

Les norsk: Hvis biologisk familie ønsker å komme i kontakt med noen som er adoptert.

General information about requesting contact with adoptees in Norway

If the adoptee was adopted to Norway from another country and has turned 18 years old, he or she will be notified of contact requests dated back to autumn 2020.

If a contact request was received before this date, the adoptee can get access to it by requesting access to his or her adoption file. This, of course, only occurs if the adoptee knows of being adopted.

If an adoptee does not wish to be notified of potential letters or contact requests, he or she can opt out by notifying the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs – Bufdir. This will then be registered in that person’s adoption file.

If an adoptee receives an inquiry before he or she has turned 18 years old, the inquiry will be filed in that person’s adoption file. The adoptee will be notified about the contact request when he or she turns 18 years old. The adoptive parents will not be notified of letters to the adoptee, neither before nor after the adoptee turns 18 years old.

Adoptees will be notified of all inquiries that Bufdir receives no matter if it is from family of origin or others.

However, Bufdir cannot verify the sender's identity. In cases where we do not know the identity of the sender, the adoptee will be notified of the request, and that the sender's identity is unverified.

If the request is received in a sealed envelope addressed to the adoptee, we have no way of knowing whether the envelope contains a request for contact, or something else. Bufdir is not authorized to open a sealed envelope.

If you wish to send a contact request to an adoptee in Norway

If you wish to contact someone who has been adopted to Norway, you will have to submit a contact request for an adoption case. We will then need a letter from you with the following information:

  • Your full name, date of birth and your residential address
  • Your signature
  • Information about the person you wish to contact: Names of biological parents, and – if known – preferably the biological parents' dates of birth, and the adopted person's date of birth.

In addition to this, you must also include a copy of your identification with a photo, such as a passport, driver's license, or bank card. The copy must be certified by a public official or lawyer. This can be, for instance, an employee at the police station, the municipal service center, the county governor's office, or a general practitioner. Copies certified by post offices, banks, and copy centers are not sufficient.

This needs to be sent in writing by post/mail to the following address: Bufdir, P.O. Box 2233, 3103 Tønsberg.

The actual contact request can be an open, enclosed letter or in a separate sealed envelope with the name of your relative on the outside (and with instructions on the envelope indicating that Bufdir’s department for mail reception should not open the envelope). This is up to you.

If the sender is a private person and his or her address is known, we will send a confirmation of receipt to the sender. Bufdir will neither confirm nor deny whether an adoption has taken place. The sender will only receive general information about our routines and procedures in these cases.

If the inquiry comes from a foreign Central Authority or a partner abroad who knows about an adoption taking place, Bufdir will confirm that we have received the letter. We will also inform you as the sender that the adoptee has been notified of the inquiry.

The adoptee will be notified

If an adoption has taken place, we notify the adoptee that we have received a contact request for him or her. If it is known to Bufdir, our notification includes information about the sender’s name, and who he or she claims to be in relation to the adoptee. If the enquiry is in a sealed envelope, the adoptee will be informed about this. If it is known to Bufdir, we will provide a brief description of what the letter contains.

The notification from Bufdir states clearly that it is up to the adoptee whether he or she wants to contact Bufdir and have the contact request forwarded to him or her. It is also clearly stated that it is entirely up to the adoptee whether he or she wishes to respond to the sender’s contact request.