Privacy notice

Who are we?

Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) collects, uses and is responsible for certain personal information about you. When we do so we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information for the purposes of those laws.

The Adoption Service recruits, prepares, assesses, approves, supports adopters, and provides them and their families with ongoing support, guidance and assessment. The service also works to place children for adoption with adoptive parents who are approved and supported by partner Local Authority Adoption Agencies and Voluntary Adoption Agencies.


The personal information we collect and use

Information collected by us:

In the course of recruiting, assessing, approving, supervising and supporting adopters we collect the following personal information when you provide it to us:

  • Personal information (such as name, address, contact details, date of birth, gender, language)
  • Special category characteristics (such as ethnicity, disability, religion and medical information)
  • Family network and relationship information
  • Employment information
  • Financial information
  • Information relating to assessments and approvals for suitability to adopt children


We also obtain personal information from other sources as follows:

  • The local authority in whose area you live in
  • Other BHCC departments
  • Disclosure and Barring Service
  • Overseas safeguarding records
  • Past and Present Employers
  • Social Media
  • References (personal and employment)
  • Previous partners
  • Health
  • Schools
  • Therapists and other agencies engaged or previously engaged with your family (with your consent)
  • Other Local Authorities and Adoption Agencies, past and present where we are working to support you in access to your birth records.
  • The Family Court


How we use your personal information

We use your personal information to:

  • Process prospective adopter applications
  • Assess suitability to become an adoptive parents
  • Assess for adoption support needs
  • Refer to other agencies to meet assessed needs or seek further assessment
  • Provide a recommendation to the Court in relation to your application to adopt
  • Monitor the progress and stability of placements, to safeguard and support children and their families prior to an Adoption Order being granted.
  • Provide ongoing assessment,  support, advice and training to adoptive families
  • Provide a service in relation to Step Parent Adoption
  • Provide a service in relation to Birth Records Counselling
  • Provide a service in relation to access to records
  • Prevent or detect crime or fraud
  • Assess and evaluate our services

Inform future service planning and the commissioning of services


How long your personal data will be kept

We keep your information securely in line with the retention periods shown below, after which time it is archived or securely destroyed, except where required for legal reasons, such as a court order or legal hold.  In these instances BHCC will retain records for longer than the stated retention period.


Retention Period

Adoption Records for children successfully placed

100 years post Adoption Order

(Adoption and Children Act 2002 (ACA2002) The Disclosure of Adoption Information (Post Commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005 No. 888

Adoption Case Records for Step Parent Adoptions

100 years post adoption order  (ACA2002, Section 56)

Adoption Letterbox Files including letterbox

100 years post Adoption Order (Adoption Agencies Regulations (AAR) 2005 (reg 39)

Adoptee Counselling Files (Birth Records Counselling)

100 years post adoption order (ACA 2002, Section 56

Birth Records Enquiries where services are not provided to the adoptee

18 months after last recorded action (AAR 2005)

Birth Records Enquiries, Out of Area Adoptions

10 years after last action (ACA 2002)

Adopter Case Files – Application Rejected due to safeguarding concerns

20 years after closure (ACA 2002)

Adopter Case Records for Rejected Applications – where applicant opts for early destruction of their case records

10 years following last action. (ACA 2002)  AAR 2005

Adopters Case Records for Rejected Applications – Where applicant opts for case records to be retained for possible future application

20 years following last action (ACA2002) (AAR 2005)

Adopter Case Files where applicant withdraws

10 years after last action  (ACA 2002) AAR 2005

Adoption Allowance Files

100 years following date of the adoption order (ACA 2002) (AAR 2005)

Adopter Files where the process eventuated in an adoption order, including step parent adoptions

100 years following the date of the order (AAR 2005)

Adoption Panel Minutes

Retain Permanently

Finance and Procurement: Financial Services: Payments: All records relating to the payment of adoptive parents

6 years

Reasons we can collect and use your personal information

We collect and use your personal information to comply with our legal obligations under The Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005, The Adoption Agencies (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013 If we need to collect special category (sensitive) personal information, we rely upon reasons of substantial public interest (equality of opportunity or treatment), for social security or social protection law, and for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims whenever Courts are acting in their judicial capacity.


Who we share your personal information with

  • Brighton and Hove City Council teams including Finance and children’s services

BHCC is part of a Regional Adoption Agency made up of Brighton and Hove Council, East Sussex County Council, Surrey County Council and West Sussex County Council – information may be shared with partners for the purposes of joint service delivery –


  • Ofsted (in the event of a local authority inspection of children’s services)
  • Other Local Authorities and Voluntary Adoption Agencies
  • Adoption Panels who are making a recommendation in relation to your application.

We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law.


Your Rights

Under the GDPR you have a number of rights which you can exercise free of charge which allow you to:

  • Right to correction (Ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you)
  • Right of access (Ask to see what information we hold about you (Subject Access Requests)
  • Right to object to processing for purposes other than those for which the Council has a statutory duty.

We will always seek to comply with your request however we may be required to hold or use your information to comply with legal duties. Please note: your request may delay or prevent us delivering a service to you.

For further information about your rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the guidance from the UK Information Commissioners Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under the General Data Protection Regulation.

If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Data Protection Team at


Keeping your personal information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.


Who to Contact

Please contact the Data Protection at  or 01273 295959 to exercise any of your rights, or if you have a complaint about why your information has been collected, how it has been used or how long we have kept it for.


You can also make a complaint direct to the Council’s Data Protection Officer

Data Protection Legislation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted at or telephone 03031 231113.