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Making contact with your birth family

If you're adopted and want to make contact with your birth family, an adoption intermediary service can help.

We can help you find, and make initial contact, with your birth relatives. You must be 18 years old before you can try to contact an adopted family member using our service.  

If you don't live in County Durham you should contact your own council, who will liaise with us on your behalf.

How do you make an enquiry?

Contact us - one of our adoption social workers will give you advice on tracing your birth family. The more information you have, including any documents such as birth or marriage certificates, the better.

How can we help?

We will do the following on your behalf:

  • contact the agency where the adoption was organised to find out more information*
  • protect the welfare, safety and wishes of everyone involved
  • offer you a counselling interview to discuss your expectations and the implications of contacting your birth family

*If you do not know the details of the adoption agency, you may need to contact the General Register Office and the court to get this information. There may be a charge for this.

Finding your birth relatives

We can help you with:

  • some limited tracing and contact through their last known address
  • if we're unable to trace your birth relative, we will refer you to organisations that may be able to help

After contact is made

If we make contact with your birth family we will:

  • offer them the opportunity to talk to a counsellor to help with their decision on whether to accept your request
  • handle any initial contact with you - often this is done by letter and photographs
  • respect their decision on the level of contact with you including if they say no

What if contact can't be made?

If we organised your adoption, we will put your enquiry on your file in case a birth family member asks to contact you in the future.

Other ways of making contact

Add yourself to the Adoption Contact Register if you're looking for birth relatives. Please note it is not a tracing service - for a connection to be made between two people they must both have added their details to the register.

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