Adoption Registers operate in England, Wales and Scotland and an equivalent system, ARIS (Adoption Regional Information System), operates in Northern Ireland. The Inter Register Referral Protocol outlines the joint working arrangements that ensure the Registers work effectively together in order to help reduce delay in finding families for children throughout the UK where adoption is their plan. The criteria for referring a child or adopter from one Register to another are included in the protocol. There is no charge for using this service.

The use of the Link Maker system by Scotland’s Adoption Register, allows the profiles of children to be made visible to adopters registered with Link Maker in England. Agencies may nevertheless want to continue to make use of the additional placement options available through an inter-register referral.

The protocol is currently subject to review as the arrangements for managing referrals has changed significantly in all four countries. It is anticipated that the process will continue largely as before, but please check with the Register if you wish to make a referral through the other registers.