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Before you start your search

If you are looking for your birth mother, birth father or birth relatives, here are some things you should think about, including how intensely emotional it will be.

Telling upsetting information

Some people become very excited about the prospect of finding a relative and forget that sometimes they will be bearers of distressing information to the other party. For instance, a birth sibling may find their brother or sister who was adopted and have to tell them that their mother is deceased. Or a birth parent may learn that the adopted person has died or is suffering from a serious illness or disability. Sometimes, the way a person died is cause for distress as well. In situations like this, the information will often need to be told during the first contact.

Before telling someone upsetting or potentially distressing information, time needs to be taken to think about how this information may impact that person and how it can be given in a sensitive way.

In these situations, it is helpful to talk to an adoption caseworker in the Adoption Information Unit or an adoption agency before contact is made.

Adoption Information Unit (AIU)
Department of Communities and Justice 
Locked Bag 5000, Parramatta NSW 2124
Phone: 1300 799 023 or  +61 2 9716 3005 (from overseas)

It is often advisable to use the services of an experienced adoption intermediary who can provide the information and support to all parties involved.

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Last updated: 04 May 2022