Published on 13 Jul 2011

An adopted person trying to establish contact with birth parents or other birth relatives may find it a daunting and potentially stressful process, which requires a sensitive and caring approach. Being able to easily access clear information about services is essential to making the experience as straightforward as possible.

Birthlink (formerly Family Care) is a registered Scottish charity, which specialises in the facilitation of contact between people separated by adoption. It offers information, as well as a range of services, to help individuals and families affected by adoption, all of which are clearly signposted on the homepage of the website. These include the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland; searching services for tracing birth relatives; go-between services; a court process service for sorting out legal documentation; an after-adoption information line for those seeking information and advice on adoption issues that affect adults; and a Care Connect service, which helps adults who were formerly either growing up in the residential care of a local authority, or in a foster family, to access information from records. Service users include adopted adults, birth parents of people adopted as children and their family members, adoptive family members, local authority social workers, voluntary adoption agencies and other professionals.

As well as various services, there are links to other types of information, such as publications and information bulletins highlighting topical issues. Birthlink also actively encourages people to get involved and has a web page dedicated to how the general public can support their work, including its two thrift shops, which are based in Edinburgh.

Birthlink is regulated by the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care and has an annual inspection and report. Its office hours are Monday to Friday 9.30am-4.30pm, and you can make an appointment to visit. A 24-hour answering phone service is also available.

Visit the website: Birthlink