If you are an adopted adult who was adopted on or after December 30th 2005 or a birth relative of someone adopted on or after December 30th 2005 and you have been given a qualifying determination by your adoption agency which you don’t agree with, you can either apply to the IRM for a review of the adoption agency's qualifying determination or you can make representations to your adoption agency. The cost of having your case reviewed is met by your agency.
The Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) is a review process conducted by a Review Panel which is independent of adoption agencies.
If you choose to use the IRM the review panel will make a fresh recommendation to your agency as to whether or not the agency should proceed with its original determination.
The Review Panel considers the following information to make its recommendation:
If the Review Panel needs further information, this will be requested from your adoption agency before the panel meeting, unless it would be more appropriate to ask you directly.
You will be invited to attend the meeting and the Review Panel will meet with yourself and the adoption agency to ask for clarification of information contained in the reports. The panel will also obtain legal advice should it wish to do so.
The Review Panel makes its recommendation and will provide copies of its recommendation and reasons to you and to the adoption agency.
The adoption agency must take this recommendation into account as well as the recommendation of the original adoption panel when making its final decision.
There have been no adoption disclosure cases reviewed by the IRM to date since the Regulations were implemented in December 2005.
A "qualifying determination" is a determination made by an adoption agency that it will not proceed with an application or that it is proposing to disclose or withhold protected information from adoption records contrary to the views expressed by the person the information is about.