Tracing Your Family
Tracing Your Family
Julia Feast (Search and Reunion Consultant) gives expert video advice on: What methods can be used to trace my birth family?; What do I do if I cannot find any details on my family?; What is an Adoption Contact Register? and more...
What methods can be used to trace my birth family?
People can use public records, electoral roles, and telephone directories to try and locate their family members. But it's a good idea to talk about the methods and the ways of doing this with the adoption worker you're in touch with.
What do I do if I cannot find any details on my family?
If an adopted person is really stuck with their search, and are not able to locate any family members, then it's important that they contact an agency that has some experience in these matters. They could contact an adoption support agency, or the adoption team at the local authority, or an adoption agency.
What is an Adoption Contact Register?
The Adoption Contact Register is run by the registrar general and it's been running since 1993. This means that adopted people can register their wish for contact and also birth relatives who wish to be in touch with the adopted person can also register their wish for contact. There is a fee for doing this, and adopted people and birth relatives would need to contact the registrar general for further information about this. Since December 30, 2005, adopted people can also register a wish for no contact and birth parents can also do the same.
Is the Adoption Register an effective way of finding family?
The Adoption Contact Register is worth contacting, it is worth registering on the Adoption Contact Register just in case both relative, or adoptive person has put their name on it.
Do other registers exist?
Yes, an organization called AA NORCAP has had a register for many, many years.
What is NORCAP?
NORCAP is an organization that's helped adopted people and birth relatives reunite and provides information and advice about searching as well. Among of the facilities that started very early was the Adoption Contact Register.
How long will it take to trace my family?
Tracing, locating and finding and contacting both family members can vary from one search to the next, but for finding people, if given enough information and the right information, then searching can be very quick. Some people found it in a matter of hours, for others it is taking years. Nobody can tell anyone that it's going to take you this length of time.