After Adoption

After Adoption: Searching, Counselling and Reunion

Imagine your life as a jigsaw with a piece missing. After Adoption helps people fill this gap by: assisting adopted people and birth relatives trace family members, providing counselling and support to people accessing their adoption records for the first time, and acting as an intermediary for those making contact with each other and facilitating reunions.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from to




  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing
  • Human Rights/AdvocacyHuman Rights/Advocacy


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



“It has helped me find a piece of my jigsaw” Adopted people approach us for numerous reasons – where their adoption has been ‘successful’ they may be wondering why they were adopted and what their birth family is like, they may have settled down and are thinking about looking back at their roots for the first time. Some people are desperate to know more from an early age, whereas others have not given their adoption much thought until something acts as a trigger, such as a significant life event like having their own child and this may simply prompt the need to know more about their medical history. Others come to us looking for brothers or sisters they were separated from in the adoption process. Some live with a strong sense of rejection and where adoptions occurred due to poor parenting, some adopted adults approach us with very low self-esteem, their own identity framed by the inadequacies and failings of their parents. We also work with adopted adults whose adoptions failed and the relationship with the adoptive family has disrupted. The needs of this group can be overlooked in the adoption story because it consists of people who are not regarded as ‘care-leavers’ but neither do they consider themselves part of the family. The difficulties faced by those who approach us for support include depression, anxiety, difficulties forming relationships, unresolved anger and a sense of loss. These are challenges that can be faced from time to time even by those who consider their adoptions to have been successful. We offer counselling, information and advice about searching methods, tracing and reunions and opportunities to talk through issues individually or in a group. Sometimes the chance to meet other adopted people helps to clarify feelings and experience. Sometimes people simply want the chance to talk about their enduring feelings around their adoption. Unfortunately the level and amount of funding for this work varies greatly across local authority areas, and often adopted adults and birth relatives are required to meet the costs themselves which for some they simply cannot afford. Your help could help someone put the pieces of their life back together, reunite an entire family, or give an adopted person the sense of identity for which they have searched for so long.