Many of us take it for granted. The ability to trace back your family heritage at one’s own will is now almost a divine right, an activity in which many partake and many avoid - perhaps because they assume that records will always be available.
For those who are adopted or a direct descendant of an adoptee, the most basic of genealogical research can present seemingly impenetrable barriers. Chief of all these barriers - in the UK - is the lack of adequate adoption records prior to 1927. For many years, the process of adoption was an informal, rudimentary affair reflected in the quality of the records. The 1926 Adoption of Children Act recorded every granted adoption in England and Wales; however, the names of the natural parents are only released to the verified adoptee, and then only following a meeting with an advisor.
As you can imagine, this presents significant barriers for the researcher or individual and can present gaping holes in one’s family history. This is a reality for many people across the world, but dealing with an unknown past needn’t be upsetting.