Your journey with JNA

your-journey-with-joanna-north-associates

This leaflet has been written from our experience. In this leaflet we discuss your journey with us and how to get the best from it.

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.

The goal of our work is to help you find a relative from whom you are separated through adoption.  We will work diligently towards that outcome.  However, we have to make you aware of obstacles that can make the journey slower than expected, or that may mean you are disappointed if the results are less than the ideal you had hoped for.  We want to share some possible scenarios with you now so that you can be fully prepared for the journey ahead in case any of these arise.  We think of it as a weather check before a long journey – we like to be prepared for all possibilities and help you manage your expectations and reduce anxiety.      

We want our clients to understand from the outset why the fee is fully payable whatever the outcome, and be aware of every step and detail of the service that is being provided.  The work of Adoption Intermediary work is labour intensive from beginning to end, and we are committed to the correct and legal guidelines of the work regardless of what we discover about your life story.   So, whilst we can’t guarantee what will be at the end of your journey, what we can assure you of is  always our quality attention  by supporting you continuously with a professional and dedicated service.  Our work is inspected every three years by Ofsted, and we are currently rated as Outstanding.  We appreciate any feedback you give us along the way.  Please write to us immediately if you think we could make changes, as your opinions help us to develop the service. 

Here are some examples of the various outcomes that we have shared with our clients:

a. The result of our search may mean that the relative does not wish to be in touch with you.

b.  The relative may be deceased.

c.  The relative may be involved in difficult life circumstances which means contact is not possible at the present time.

d.  The relative may not be traceable.   

Whilst we always hope for the best and help most of our clients make a good connection, experience has shown us that understandably some people become disappointed if the answer is not what they had hoped for.    Whilst we cannot determine what the outcome will be, we think it is important for you to understand the work that will continue behind the scenes, regardless of the final conclusion, and the support that you will continue to receive.  Here is the step by step guide of our actions.

Step by Step for Adoptive People

Step One

Provide a consultation to assess the current situation and establish how we are able to help you.  Ascertain if there are any reasons that would preclude us from contacting the subject.

Step Two

We are legally required to verify your identity and potential relationship to the subject of the search. To do this we ask that you share certain documents which you may have and some that you may not have which usually we can access.

Write to GRO??  Courts??

Step Three

Work to obtain information in order to assist us in the tracing of your adoptive relative.  Identify and contact the correct Adoption Agency that dealt with the adoption to ascertain whether there has been any contact with the subject since the time of their adoption.  The law allows adopted people a choice about contact with birth family.  This is why we must contact the adopted person to gain consent to share their details.  Some adopted people may want to prevent ever being contacted by an intermediary.  They can pre-register their wish with the appropriate adoption agency as a “veto”.  These can be absolute or qualified.  Absolute meaning no contact ever under any circumstances or qualified where they can specify where it might be acceptable.  If a veto were found then this may stop the process of the search immediately.  We should point out it is incredibly rare to find a veto of this nature.  It is possible, where there is a veto for no contact, for us to share information that would be considered non-identifying about the adoptee.  This could be information that may help you understand they appear to be well and alive for example or that we can ask to ascertain specific information i.e. health information.  The decision to do this is the prerogative of the Intermediary Agency.   We then report back to you.  

Step Four

Where appropriate, attempt contact with the subject of your search using our tracing skills and expertise.   

Step Five

At this stage, if required, a Counselling Consultation is available to you and/or the subject of the search.  However, counselling is available at any stage of this journey.

Step Six

Agree on arrangements for contact or report back to you if this is not possible.

Step Seven

A report of our work will be provided where contact is not possible. This would not include identifying information or data about the subject as specific consent is required to share such information. 

Step Eight

At the end of our work it is our Statutory Duty to record our work with you and report back to any agency with whom we have been in contact so that it can be recorded on the main file.    

Step Nine

We are required by law to keep a record of our work with you in a data safe environment, and this can only be made available to other Adoption Agencies for valid reasons. 

Step by Step for Birth Relatives

Step One

Provide a consultation to assess the current situation and establish how we are able to help you.  Ascertain if there are any reasons that would preclude us from contacting the subject.

Step Two

We are legally required to verify your identity and potential relationship to the subject of the search. To do this we ask that you share certain documents which you may have and some that you may not have which usually we can access.

Step Three

Work to obtain information in order to assist us in the tracing of your birth relative. Often adoptees looking for birth family have located their birth family themselves or hold sufficient information for their relatives to be traced through public records by us.  If we have performed the trace we would then report back to you and discuss the next steps based on findings.  

Step Four

Where appropriate attempt contact with the subject of your search.

Step Five

At this stage, if required, a Counselling Consultation is available to you and/or the subject of the search, although counselling is available throughout this process.   

Step Six

Agree on arrangements for contact or report back to you if this is not possible.

Step Seven

A report of our work will be provided where contact is not possible.  This may include some information about your birth relative but certain details may be omitted to respect their wishes where contact is not wanted.

Step Eight

At the end of your journey it is our Statutory Duty to record our work with you and report back to any agency with whom we have been in contact. 

Step Nine

We are required by law to keep a record of our work with you in a data safe environment, and this can only be made available to other Adoption Agencies for valid reasons.

Note:

  1. In exceptional circumstances, such as where a relative has gone abroad, we reserve the right to request further payments to cover the cost of unforeseen additional work.  However, this would always be agreed with you beforehand and you would not be obliged to continue.
  2. Whilst counselling is part of our work with you – this is not an ongoing service following completion of the search/find.  However, we do guide and signpost people to local counselling services in their area if it is needed following completion. 

Other Aspects to Our Service

  • Continuous liaison with Adoption Counsellor, Tracing specialist and customer service and admin as required.
  • Your questions and concerns answered at any time.
  • Counselling support and guidance provided at any time this is needed.
  • Safeguarding Awareness to ensure detection of any issues likely to put vulnerable people or children at risk.  This includes continuous risk assessment.
  • Liaison with and Membership of Consortium of Adoption Support Agencies so that we can be close to the Department of Education and the source of any changes in law and practice relating to Intermediary Work.
  • Attention to Data Protection at all times.
  • Weekly team meetings to discuss the progress of your case.
  • Liaison with Adoption Agencies to ensure a good flow of information to help your case.