Skip to content


Find help if you are involved in adoption proceedings or have lost children to adoption

Some places that offer specific help during or after adoption

Is your child no longer with you or is there a chance this may happen? Free advice and support for birth mothers, fathers and relatives in England. For more information please visit PACUK‘s First Family Service page.

The Open Nest is a charity supporting people suffering from trauma especially those caused to parents, children and carers involved in adoption

There is some advice on Family Lives who also have a phone helpline

Barnardos Scotland provides the independent Birth Family Member Support Service if a child or children in your family is going to be placed for adoption.

In Northern Ireland this government website offers information for birth parents whose children have been placed for adoption.

In Northern Ireland an adoption counselling and support service, Next Step, is available free of charge to birth relatives of a child who has been, or is likely to be, placed for adoption.

In Scotland Birthlink provides support for all adults affected by adoption, including counselling, contact and training.

Birth Connections service is commissioned through local authorities, and is currently available to individuals who live in the Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire areas.

Scottish Adoption provides an intermediary service on behalf of birth parents and relatives wishing to let an adopted adult know they would welcome contact. 

Your RIGHT for support

The principle of independent support for birth parents is a requirement of the Adoption Minimum Standards and is reflected in statutory guidance:

  • “Birth parents are given access to, and are actively encouraged to use, a support worker from the time adoption is identified as the plan for the child. The support worker is independent of the child’s social worker”;
    Standard 12.3;
  • “The agency should offer the parents the services of an independent support worker: someone who can provide advice and support and is either from another agency or adoption support agency or, at least, not a member of the team of social workers who are responsible for the child’s case”;
    Guidance Chapter 2.26.

Agencies are also required to offer support to other members of the child’s birth family, in recognition of the fact that the decision to place a child for adoption is likely to have implications for those who have lived with, cared for, or are simply related to the child.