How we trace and find your family member

How does it work?

We will always try to trace and find your family member for free. After we receive your application and can confirm that you meet the criteria we will get in touch to ask a few further questions, and to explain how the process works. We then undertake what we refer to as ‘enquiries’, where we ask our search partners if they have anyone matching the details of your relative on their records. We are supported by Lexis Nexis, and other agencies, who will forward a letter from Missing People, explaining to your family member that you would like to make contact.

The letter asks your family member to call our Helpline, and tell us how they feel about reconnecting with you. We invite them to talk to us in confidence, and will not pass on any information about them without their consent.

You will be supported throughout the process. From the moment we take on a request, you have access to our Helpline, our family support services, and the dedicated Lost Contact Tracing Team. The same support will be offered to your family member; we know it’s not always easy to have that ‘first conversation’ when you’ve lost touch for so long. We will offer you both the chance to reconnect via whatever channel feels most comfortable. We can even be on the phone with you during that first call if you would find it helpful.

Will you find my family member?

Although we send letters to presumed addresses, we cannot always confirm that it has gone to the correct one, or that someone will respond. We will send up to two letters to possible addresses before ending our enquiries. This is to ensure your family member does not feel harassed in any way, giving them time and space to think through how they would like to respond.

What happens when you find them?

We are a confidential service, to all parties. Nothing you say to us will be shared with your family member without your consent, and vice versa, should they get in touch. If we happen to be given an address for your family member, we will not pass this on without their consent.

What if they don’t want to reconnect?

Sometimes when people are found, they are not ready to reconnect. This can be a permanent feeling, or in some cases your family member may just need time to digest the situation. We cannot promise that somebody will react positively, however we do promise to always respect everyone’s’ wishes. If your family member does respond, but does not want contact, they will be offered the chance to pass a message back to you via our Helpline.

Apply to our family tracing service

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