36. Always guard your identity

back view of man. protect your privacy

Protect Your Privacy

This advice leaflet is written for our clients and the subjects of our searches. It relates to protecting your identity and personal information. All our searches are carried out with Data Protection in mind in order to protect your identity and personal details. We work hard to protect both the subject of the search as well as our clients.

As you will be aware we never give out location details relating to either party and it is up to you at which point you feel safe enough to meet up in person. This is often done at a neutral location. We promote initial e mail contact on a specific e mail address so that contact can begin and then close if it is deemed necessary. We will always recommend that an adoptee or relative uses an email address that does not include their full name. If people wish to be in touch on the phone, we advise them to gain a bespoke number for this. Again, so that privacy can be maintained, and contact broken if it is thought best.

In addition to these precautions, you will be aware that we never give out addresses or location or other identity material of any party. In the social media age in which we live it is of course easy for people to trace you outside of our service. However, we always advise both client and subject not to do this as a relationship needs to be built gradually and with due caution and even then privacy is essential.

We always hope contact goes well but sometimes a closure is brought to communication after a while or comes to a natural closure. During the period of initial communication, you will be busy saying hello and coping with emotions – both positive and negative and there will be lots to discuss. However, we strongly advise that you are mindful not to give out any information relating to your finances. You should not be asked by anyone about anything relating to bank accounts, credit cards, business arrangements etc. In our many years of work this has never happened because most people are fully aware and respectful of keeping each other safe. However, we live in a complex world, and we feel we should undertake our duty of care and underline this caution. At the same time, it is inadvisable to rush into swopping any information that relates to your identity i.e. passports etc all of which will have been checked by us. We sometimes ask people to engage in DNA tests if there is any doubt about the relationship. This is done with equal discretion and privacy.

We hope you are able to feel confident in discussing your story with your newly found relative. Please be mindful to always protect your personal and financial data.

Dr. Joanna North

Consultant Psychotherapist (adoption)

September 2024.

Joanna North Adoption (Ofsted registered)

back view of man. protect your privacy