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Richard’s story

Richard came to us through our work with Future Pathways as he was in care from birth. We were able to support Richard to trace some records from his time in care which was helpful for him to understand more of what went on during his early life.

Richard did not have contact with his mother when he was in care but after he left he went on to have a relationship with her for a number of years before she sadly passed away. However Richard did not know much about his family history and his mother was not one to share a lot about this side of things.

As one of Birthlink’s services is to provide a search of public records we suggested to Richard that we look into his family history to try and trace a family tree for him. This would give him some information on his mother’s family, her parents and siblings. However we also discussed the possibility that his mother may have had other children as well. This was something that Richard had not considered before.

When the search came back, Richard was surprised to find that his mother had had another child before he was born, Caroline. Sadly, Caroline had passed away a few years before. However we were able to find that Caroline went on to marry and have two children, Angus and Arlene.

We were able to contact Angus through our mediation service and he got back to us quickly. He and Arlene were able to share with Richard that their mum, Caroline, was informally adopted when she was very young though she had no contact with their birth mother. Caroline had asked Angus to help her look for her birth family so they had found out that her mother had passed away and knew that Richard existed. However Caroline had felt she couldn’t contact him.

Angus and Arlene were happy to share what they could with Richard and through Birthlink they shared letters and photographs. Earlier this year they moved to direct contact and Richard and his son decided to go and visit his niece and nephew. They spent the weekend together getting to know each other and reminiscing. They introduced Richard to one of Caroline’s closest friends who said that the minute he walked in the door she would have known who he was; she “could have sworn they were twins”.

For Richard this has been a whirlwind of emotions and discovery. Two years ago he would never have thought that he had a sibling and now he knows that he has a sister and is getting to know who she was through her family. They continue to be in touch and are looking to meet again this summer.