Skip to main content

Death registration enquiries

You can use this service if you are an adoptee or birth relative of an adoptee to find out if a birth relative is recorded as having died in England, Wales or the Isle of Man.

COVID-19 impact on services

The COVID-19 outbreak has affected the delivery of the NBO tracing service. Regretfully, this means that the death registration enquiries services has been suspended until further notice.

Any service requests received will be returned unprocessed.

How to use this service

To use this service you must make an application through either:

  • social services
  • the adoption team at your local council
  • a registered charity
  • a registered adoption agency
  • a registered adoption support service

You will need to include the organisation's ofsted, charity or registration number in the application. We do not accept applications from individuals.

Information required in an application

The organisation acting on your behalf needs to provide the following information about the birth relative or adopted child:

  1. Full post-adoptive names, copy of original birth certificate if available, date of birth or approximate age if known, and adoptee's address if known.
  2. Full names, date of birth or approximate age if known, and birth relative's address if known.
  3. When searching for a birth father, confirmation that he is named as the father on the original birth certificate, or in the adoption papers.

If we find a record of an England, Wales or Isle of Man Civil Death Registration, we can give you advice about how to get a copy of the Civil Death Registration. This information will be provided only if the name under which the death is registered, is the name quoted by the applicant.

When a death registration cannot be identified

Finding no trace of a death registration usually means the person has not died. However, where an individual has died outside of England, Wales or the Isle of Man (overseas), it is unlikely NHS Digital will be aware that the death has occurred.

There are occasions when an individual has died in England, Wales or the Isle of Man, but the NHS Digital record has not been marked as deceased. Such occasions are rare, less than 0.5% of the total deaths registered in England, Wales and the Isle of Man are not matched to NHS Digital records.

Why some NHS Digital records are not marked as deceased when an individual has died

The details provided on the Civil Death Registration are provided by an 'informant'. Depending on how well the informant knew the deceased, there may be name or date of birth discrepancies between details provided for the purpose of registering the death, and details recorded for the purpose of the administration of the NHS, which prevent the Civil Death Registration from being matched with the deceased's NHS record. In these circumstances, the NHS record is not marked as deceased, even though a death has been registered.

Last edited: 30 April 2020 3:17 pm