How To Trace Birth Parents

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How to trace birth parents is something we are often asked.

As one of the UK’s leading services for finding people we work with many individuals who are looking to trace their birth parents. This short guide is designed to help you find your birth parents.

This guide has been written by David Oates, author of ‘Long Lost Family Tracing’ His work as been featured in The Daily Mail, BBC Radio and Family History Magazine.

As professional people finders, “how to trace birth parents” is the question we are most frequently asked but what can you do to find your birth parents?


If you’ve never met your birth parents then finding them is a big deal on many levels.

I speak to people just like you every day about finding their birth parents so I understand exactly how you feel, it’s not something that you should leave to chance.

It’s a daunting task to even begin to find them, sometimes it creates even more questions like…

1.    What will they be like?
2.    Will they be happy to hear from me?
3.    Do I have enough information to find them?
4.    If I do find them, how should I contact them?

Yes, for most people it’s a big deal. Let me tell you right now.

In the vast majority of cases, birth parents understand why they have been contacted and act accordingly by providing answers to questions and having contact with their offspring.

In some cases things go further and relationships begin. It’s important that when you do find your birth parent you act correctly though as these first few contacts can set the bar for a nice welcome or a frosty one.

We provide an intermediary service so I’ve had personal dealing on both sides of the fence. Obviously, you need to find them first so let’s start there.

When I start a case to locate a birth parent I go through all the information I have about the birth parent, so this is what you need to do, if you’re going to try and find them yourself…

Firstly, you need to establish what information you know about your birth parent that can be used to find them. Then you need to establish what information you don’t know about them but you can find out.

With that in mind, this is a list of information that you will need to know about them to be able to find them. Please don’t worry if you don’t have all this information at present as there are many ways to find out the things you don’t already know.

If you do already know the answer to all these questions then you are well on your way to finding them.

1.    Their full name at birth
2.    Their full name at another point in time i.e. after marriage
3.    Their place of birth
4.    Their date of birth
5.    Their partners name
6.    The area of the county that they live or lived in

So why are these 6 things so important? Well their name means you can identify possible matches, as you know, names are not exclusive to one person so we need other ways to confirm we have the correct person.

You also need to figure out their name now, not what it was thirty years ago, people do change their names.

This is why knowing their place of birth and their date of birth is so important, your date of birth is something that you can’t change so it’s important that you find your birth parents date of birth, so it’s a great way to confirm you have the right person.

Partners name is important because if you know it, you can search for two people which is easier than one. Finally, the area of the country, it’s great to be able to search records in a particular area of the country rather than the whole of the UK for obvious reasons.

So how do you fill in the blanks for the information that is missing?

There are many websites that you can use to source information about people. Here is some of the ones we use. It’s worth letting you know at this point, seen as you’re obviously keen to find your birth parents, that because we are data protection compliant we can access better quality information than people trying to find birth parents their selves.  We have not listed those sources here.

Good sources for finding information about birth parents

Find My Past – Great for checking Birth records and marriage records

People Search-UK – A Great resource of information about finding people

Ancestry – Although you would assume that this is just for family tree type research, its can often be used to obtain information that can help you trace living people

192 – Great for obtaining lists of names and addresses but can be expensive and it’s not guaranteed to help you if you don’t have the correct information to begin with.

As I have said previously. If you have found your birth parents it is important to get the contacting of them right. You should consider if it is a good time for them and what reaction they might give you if it’s the wrong time.

This is why we insist on contacting birth parents for you. We provide it as part of our service. It allows us to protect and support you and your birth parents which is really important.

I also did a shot video about tracing your birth parents. Click on the blue link to watch it now.

I hope this guide has helped you. If you have any questions or want any further advice then we do offer a free consultation, just ring us up to book this in and we’ll be happy to help. If you have any further questions please leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Finding your birth parents is not an easy thing to do but I hope in some small way this short guide has got you off to a good start. Remember we are here to help you should you need it. I hope you have enjoyed reading this article, how to trace birth parents.