How to trace biological parents in the UK

Choosing to trace your birth parents can prove to be a difficult decision for many people; others may always have a desire to find more about their birth parents but choose not to pursue a trace until later in life.

Ultimately, many people in the UK do take steps to connect with their biological parents and find the outcome to be rewarding and fulfilling.

Grand parents with grand children

Whatever lies behind your decision to trace your birth parents, we can help. We have already assisted thousands of clients in finding their biological parents.

Whilst many people might wait for the right point in their lives before deciding to connect with their biological parents, we would always suggest pursuing a trace sooner rather than later. The more time that passes before you decide to trace your parents, the more potential there is for your parents to be afflicted by ill health or deceased. The amount of time available will also depend on how old your parents were at the time that you were born.

How to trace your birth parents

There are several paths available for tracing birth parents in the UK. For starters, there is the “Adoption Contact Register”, which allows adopted children to leave their contact details and indicate that they would like contact with their biological family. However, this requires any biological family members to also be registered themselves.

Further to this, you could download an Application for Access to Birth Records form and send it to: Adoptions Sections, Room C202, General Register Office, Trafalgar Road, Southport PR8 2HH

Note: This information is confidential and can only be disclosed to the adopted child, or their biological mother.

The information which you receive back can then be provided to one of our experienced private investigators, who will painstakingly trawl through records in order to locate your biological parents and provide the information you need to reconnect with them.

As people move around over the years, and potentially marry and divorce or remarry, locating their current whereabouts is not an easy task, and usually requires some time and relevant experience in tracing.

How much does it cost for a private investigator to trace birth parents?

Fees can vary from firm to firm and may also depend on the complexity of your case. However, in general you should look to budget at least £500 for professional help to locate the whereabouts of your birth parents. In complex or difficult cases, fees can run as high as £1,000+.

Ultimately, there are many different services which you can find on the internet. For clients that choose to start a case with PrivateInvestigators-UK, we guarantee person to person contact throughout the course of an investigation, and a dedicated case manager that will oversee your trace from start to finish, and be on hand to answer any questions which you might have during the course of the investigation.

A female private investigator working at 4 computer monitors

If you are taking the step to instruct a private investigator for this type of trace, we would suggest finding a firm which at least has a similar ethos to ourselves, and ensuring that you are comfortable with the level of service provided before deciding to go ahead and start a case.

Reasons for tracing biological parents

There could be many different reasons which lead a person to trace their biological parents, here are some that we hear often:

Hiring a private investigator

For most people looking to trace their biological parents, hiring a private investigator just makes sense. Private investigators perform hundreds of traces every day and have the experience needed to help in complex adoption tracing cases.

Hand shake

Many of our clients want to access records relating to their biological parents as quickly and easily as possible. After all, the process of locating biological parents is stressful enough by itself. Our experience and resources allow us reach successful conclusions as swiftly as possible in each case.

We endeavour to provide you with the best, fastest, and most accurate tracing service available in the United Kingdom.

After successfully tracing a birth parent, you might request that we gather further background information about their living circumstances or lifestyle before approaching them or reaching out.

Reaching out to your birth parents

Tracing biological parents can be a difficult, emotional rollercoaster for even the strongest people. Taking the step to actually make contact with them can also prove challenging for many of our clients.

Whilst our clients typically find the outcome rewarding, when considering an adoption trace you should try to think over and plan for every eventuality. For example, what if your birth parent is deceased? Or how might you react if they decline to establish contact with you? These outcomes, whilst undesirable, are a sad reality in some cases.

When reaching out to your birth parents: Consider doing so with your partner, or someone else that you can rely on for emotional support Consider any questions which you might have for them Try to listen and empathize with their stories You should also consider how you intend to establish contact with your biological parent… Will you send them a letter or make a phone call? Would you prefer to meet them in person? What about using an intermediary to establish contact on your behalf?

For many our clients meeting with their biological parents for the first time, they might have imagined speaking to their blood relatives many times. When that eventually happens, some people can find it hard to articulate their feelings or find the right words.

In some cases, our clients will ask us to establish contact on their behalf, and we will do our best to help if this is the case.


Please see our homepage at for more information about us and the services that we offer; if you would like to start a trace on your biological parents then please feel free to reach out to one of our experienced team members and we will do our best to help.

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Feel free to contact us for more information or a free quote.