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Finding an agency to help you

Below are some guidelines on how to use the Finding an agency to help you database to find agencies that offer services in your area.


This database is designed to help you find agencies in England and Wales that can help you with your search for adoption records, provide counselling and advice on tracing and making contact with birth or adoptive relatives, and act as intermediaries on your behalf. These agencies can be either local authorities, voluntary adoption agencies or adoption support agencies.

You can use the database in two different ways:

  1. You can search for a particular agency by entering part of its name or address.
  2. You can use it to find all agencies offering services in your area by entering the town or county that you live in.

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General search tips
Here are some general rules that will help you to get the best results from the database:
  • The database will treat whatever you type into the search box as a phrase. This means that even if you know both the name and town of an organisation you should always search for each piece of information separately. For example – if you enter Nugent Care Liverpool you won’t get any matching results, but if you search for either Nugent Care or Liverpool you find will results.

  • Try not to use very common words in your searches. For example - if you are looking for London Borough of Southwark and type in London Borough you would get about 30 results, most of which will be of no interest to you. However, if you type in Southwark you will get much more relevant relevant results.

  • If you aren’t sure of the exact spelling try typing in only a part of the word – for example glou would be enough to find all agencies that offer services in Gloucestershire.

  • The database doesn't include full stops in Saints' names, so you should always search for St rather than St..

  • When searching for Saints' names, don't include an 's' at the end of the name. This is because some homes/organisations on the database use an apostrophe 's', and others don’t, so it is therefore safer to search for David without any 's' as this will pick up both David’s and Davids.

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Search results

No results found
If the keyword you enter does not match anything in the database, you will get a message in red type explaining that you should try again. Please read the general tips and try to simplify or shorten your keyword before trying again.

Results List
If your keyword does match an entry or entries in the database, these will be displayed in an alphabetical list below the search box.

  1. Looking for a particular agency - the number of results you get will depend on the search terms you have entered. E.g. if you typed in Nugent the results list will show Nugent Care and nothing else, but if you typed in NCH you results list will include the agency NCH, but also any other agency that has the letters NCH in its name or address.
  2. Looking for all agencies covering your area - the results list will show all agencies that cover the town or area that you have typed in. Some agencies cover the whole of England and Wales and so will appear in every results list.

Detailed display
You can look at the detailed display for any item on the results list by clicking on the agency or local authority name, which will be shown in green. This will take you to a more detailed page for that entry, which shows all the information we have for that agency or local authority including contact details, links for email and websites and where relevant, details about the coverage of the service.

Word of warning
Please be aware that there is no guarantee that the agencies you find will be able to offer every type of service. You will need to contact the agency to find out more about the services they offer and any charges they make. You should also be aware that all agencies offering intermediary services must be registered with Ofsted. You can visit the Ofsted website to find out more about registration.

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British Association for Adoption and Fostering is a registered charity no. 275689 (England and Wales) and SC039337 (Scotland)
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