This leaflet has been written from our experience and expertise and also with help from external research*. In this leaflet we discuss organising your first meeting with your relative.
If you have difficulties with language or reading, please let us know and we will read this information over the phone or to someone who can support you. Should you need any further information or support about this matter you can phone or email us via the details on our website.
There is no perfect venue for meeting your long lost relative, but often a neutral space such as hotel or restaurant can be a good start. A cup of tea or drink can be a good distraction or an ice breaker, whereas a sit-down formal meal may be too much for the occasion.
It all depends really on how well you feel you know the correspondent and how private you wish to keep your details. Sometimes with long distance meetings our clients will meet the relative halfway so that you both bear the cost of travel.
If you don’t like public places, it is possible to book private meeting rooms at low cost i.e. Premier Inn often have meeting rooms by the hour.
A first meeting should only be for a few hours at first in order to give everyone a chance to withdraw and reflect on their experience which may be overwhelming. First meetings are often very intense emotionally, and you might wish to retreat and take a break.
For long distance travel – don’t leave travel until the last minute, and you may want to make accommodation arrangements so that you can relax and take your time. It is probably best not to stay in the home of the relative you are meeting for a first time. This may be too much too soon.
It can be helpful to have a third party with you such as partner or friend. Ensure that they are aware that a first meeting might be stressful or unusual, as you may not want them feeling left out.
Talk with us if this is difficult to organise and we will help you.