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Intermediary services

In this section you will find answers to general questions about intermediary services and also answers that apply to the following groups:

What are intermediary services?

Once the necessary information has been obtained an adopted person may take the decision to make contact with their birth relatives. Making contact with birth relatives is something that the adoption counsellor will discuss with you. Although some adopted people decide to make direct contact, because of the potential impact and the strong emotions involved it is usually recommended to use an intermediary service where adopted people can receive practical and emotional support. Birth relatives who want to make contact with their adult adopted children or siblings may also wish to make use of intermediary services. Unlike adopted people, birth relatives are not allowed by law to receive identifying information without the adopted adult's expressed permission.

Who is responsible for providing intermediary services?

Intermediary services for birth relatives are provided by registered adoption agencies, including local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies, and also registered adoption support agencies. Registered adoption support agencies are likely to include current independent providers of (adoption support and intermediary) services.

How will these services be funded?

It is expected that local authorities, voluntary adoption agencies and registered adoption support agencies will be responsible for funding this service. However, the Government has indicated that it will be possible to charge birth relatives for the service provided. To date we are awaiting draft regulations and guidance so it is impossible to be more explicit at this stage.

Where to find them?

You can use the Finding an agency to help you database to search for agencies in your area or to look for a particular agency by name. Please note that not every agency on the database offers intermediary services, so please use the details provided to make contact and find out more.

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