Mother and daughter on riverbank

Birth Families

We offer a range of support for birth parents and birth relatives, before, during and post adoption. We recognise that adoption can be a painful topic for individuals involved and our social workers have a vast range of experience supporting birth parents and birth relatives through the challenges of adoption.


Birth Family Advisor:

We have a designated Birth Family Advisor to support birth family members who are part of a child’s contact arrangement. The purpose of this role is to provide birth family members access to one-to-one support (by email, phone, or face to face); to write their letterbox letter(s) and discuss or clarify the contact arrangement in place.

If you wish to access this support or have questions about your existing contact arrangement, please contact our office: 0800 023 4064 and request a referral via our duty social worker. Alternatively, you can request a call back for support by emailing:


Intermediary Service

We provide an Intermediary Service for adopted adult and birth relatives of an adopted person to assist in tracing and establishing contact between both parties. 

This process can be difficult for all involved and can only take place if this is in the best interests of both parties. Adopted people and birth relatives can restrict or block any information being given out about them and can refuse to be contacted if they do not wish for this to happen. As an intermediary agency, we cannot disclose any identifying information about any person without first getting their consent.

Where a birth relative or adoptive relative resides in another local authority area, we may request that the adoption agency in that area also offers support.

Please be aware that we receive a high volume of requests and unfortunately there is often a lengthy waiting list. We can provide you with contact details for other intermediary agencies if you wish. These agencies may be able to help you but they normally have a fee for their services.

For more information about our intermediary service:

  • 0800 023 4064


Adoption Contact Register

If you are an adopted adult or birth relatives of an adopted person you can add yourself to the Adoption Contact Register: Adoption Contact Register.

Finding birth relatives if you were adopted

You can add yourself to the Adoption Contact Register if you’re 18 or over and your birth or adoption was registered with the General Register Office. You need to fill in form CR Part 1 to add yourself to the register. There is a fee for this service.

Finding someone who was adopted if you’re a birth relative

You can add yourself to the Adoption Contact Register to try to find an adopted person by filling in form CR part 2. There is a fee for this service

If you don’t want to be contacted

Adopted people and birth relatives can use the Adoption Contact Register to say that they don’t want to be contacted. Tell your agency and register a veto if you don’t want to be approached by an intermediary agency. There are two types of veto called an ‘absolute veto’ and a ‘qualified veto’.

An ‘Absolute Veto’

This means an intermediary agency can’t approach you under any circumstances. Your adoption agency can still pass on information to you, e.g. about a hereditary medical condition or details of an inheritance.

 A ‘Qualified Veto’

This means you can say when you would be prepared to be contacted, e.g. you could say that an approach on behalf of your birth parent wouldn’t be acceptable, but an approach by a sibling would.

For more information about the adoption contact register:

Adoptions Section of the HM Passport Office:

  • 0300 123 1837


Birth Parent Counselling

For all birth parents whose children are being placed for adoption we offer birth parent counselling. Birth parent counselling is an opportunity for a birth parent to meet with one of our social workers and discuss the implications of adoption, express their thoughts and feelings towards adoption and gain a full understanding of their options and rights moving forward. 


Letterbox Contact

Letterbox contact is the most common form of contact between adopted children and birth family relatives. Letterbox is encouraged because it allows a child to explore their identity as an adopted child.

Research has shown that many adopted children benefit from having information about their birth family as they grow up. It can help children to develop a sense of identity, reassure them about the wellbeing of their birth family and let them know that they haven’t been forgotten.

Adoptive families benefit from knowing more about their child’s birth family origins, family traits, health issues and medical history. They often find that the exchanges of information with birth relatives helps them to talk more openly with their children about their adoption.

Receiving these letters lets birth families know about their child’s progress and development and offers reassurance about the child’s wellbeing.

When a child is being placed for adoption a contact agreement is created. This usually comprises of an annual report written by the adopter to the required birth family relative(s). Agreed birth relatives can then write back. Every letter that is written is sent to our letterbox co-ordinator and kept on the child’s file. During a child’s life the contact agreement may change. This often happens in cases were subsequent siblings are born after the adopted child / children are placed.

We require birth relatives and adoptive families update us if they move house or change their contact details such as email or phone number. 


Information from other services

  • UK Government

    The UK Government website contains some further information about the legal rights of birth parents: Birth Parents: Your Rights

  • Family Rights Group

    Family Right Group is a charity in England and Wales that advises families who are involved with Children’s Services: Family Rights Group

  • Citizen’s Advice

    Citizen’s Advice can offer information about adoption: Citizen’s Advice

  • Adoption UK Cymru

    Adoption UK Cymru are a charity that support people who adoption has impacted: Adoption UK Cymru

  • PAC-UK 
     PAC-UK are a UK based charity. They work with people who are affected by adoption, special guardianship, and other forms of permanent care: PAC-UK


If you would like to speak to us about your individual circumstances please contact us:

  • 0800 023 4064