Family Care lodged a change of name with Companies House in August 2007. A Special Resolution was passed after feedback was obtained from members and clients to call the company ‘Birthlink’ which better reflects the service we provide.
The agency originated in 1911 as the Eastern Branch of the National Vigilance Association, its aim being to protect women and girls on the street. The association increasingly found itself helping pregnant women and single mothers and doing casework with individuals.
In 1941 the association became the Guild of Service, working with single mothers offering support, arranging fostering and more and more often, adoption. In 1954 the Guild was registered as an adoption agency. By 1975 social changes meant there were fewer babies available for adoption – the Abortion Act was implemented; contraception was more effective and there were improvements in housing and benefits for single parents.
In 1975 the Children Act gave adopted adults the right, for the first time south of the border, to access their original birth certificates and trace their families of origin. Even though this had always been a right in Scotland , it had an obvious knock-on effect to work here. By the late 1970s more and more adopted adults were returning for help to find out about their origins, and birthparents were also approaching us to ask what had become of their children lost to adoption in the past.
In 1978 the name of the agency was changed to Family Care. In 1984 Birthlink and the Adoption Contact Register were established by Family Care (the renamed Guild of Service). The Adoption Contact Register for Scotland was created as part of Birthlink’s Adoption Counselling Centre and services of accessing records, searching and mediation were all developed.
Birthlink now provides an After Adoption Information Line for anyone with questions about after adoption issues. Service users include adopted adults, birth parents of people adopted as children and their family members, adoptive family members, local authority social workers, voluntary adoption agencies and other professionals.
Our Care Connect service helps adults who have been in care to find information about their past or trace estranged family members. Many of this group have the same issues as adopted adults such as lack of information about their birth parents and family which impacts on their sense of identity.
We run two Thrift Shops which bring in much needed cash to help support the day to day running of the organisation. We rely on the support we get from our many volunteers, some of whom help us in the shops and others with their skilful work of searching records which allows us to continue with our work.
All our staff, volunteers and Executive Board are dedicated to supporting and helping our organisation to bring the highest level of care to our clients.
If you are interested and able to help us in any way please contact us