People lose touch with each other for all sorts of reasons, the most common being that they’ve simply neglected to pick up the phone or write a letter over the years. Family arguments, divorce, emigration or moving home can all lead to a communication breakdown.

Sometimes we are not even aware of the existence of relatives, particularly those from other relationships our parents may have had.

Regaining or maybe making contact for the first time can be difficult, wile three quarters of those wanting to trace someone have not yet tried to find them, probably because they are not sure where to begin. The organisations listed will offer advice and have a wealth of expertise in what to expect when missing persons are finally traced. They help with different kinds of searches, but all encourage people to start their quest now, rather than losing out on any more years with a family member, or, worse still, discovering they have passed away.

It may not always have the outcome you’d hoped for, but many people who have been reunited say finding each other was the best thing they’ve ever done.


Trisha's Tips

  • Families get split up for all sorts of reasons – some good, some bad. Make sure you have lots of support, such as family counselling for instance, while you’re searching got the person and when you’ve found them.
  • Hopefully, everything will be as you wanted when you find the person you’re looking for, but sometimes you need to be aware – you could be opening up a hornets nest.


Where to go for Help

The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army Family Tracing Service is probably the best known organisation to help find a missing relative.
One of the oldest tracing services in the world it claims an 85% success rate.
There is a charge per search – more information by phone or online
0845 634 4747
Monday to Friday 8.15am to 3.45pm

This organisation can give advice and information on searching for relatives separated by adoption.
It offers skilled intermediaries to facilitate reunions and provide support.
01865 875 000 (standard rate)
Monday-Thursday 9.30am to 4.30pm
Friday 9.30am to 4pm

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