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Birthlink is a small Scottish charity, based in Edinburgh. We offer support and advice to adopted adults, birthparents, adoptive parents, birth families and other professionals in relation to adoptions with a Scottish connection .
Our work is invaluable to those who seek our support.
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The origins of Birthlink date back to 1911 where it’s aim was to protect vulnerable women and girls.
All our staff and volunteers are dedicated to supporting and helping all of our service users.
We offer a full range of services to help you navigate each and every stage of your adoption journey.
How to support us
As a charity we need your support to help us continue to expand our services to adults affected by adoption.
Forced Adoption Statement
Birthlink wishes to document the following statement in respect of the forced adoption practices that were in place in Scotland around the 1930s to the 1980s. During this period babies were cruelly and unnecessarily removed from their mothers and placed with adoptive parents. This practice did not have any regard for the mother or child’s wishes or needs but was because these mothers were judged unfit due to their circumstances at the time of the birth, including not being married or being deemed to be in poverty.
During this time Birthlink operated, firstly as the “Guild of Service”, followed by “Family Care”. An adoption placement service was provided in the agency at a time, when both culturally and in legislation, children were adopted to meet the preferences of adults rather than to fulfil the child’s welfare and development needs. Therefore, Birthlink acknowledge that the societal views would have had an influence on practice, even if this may not have been documented. We hear the voices of those affected by forced adoption and we are truly sorry for any part we may have played in this unjustified and discriminatory practice.
Birthlink also acknowledges and respects every individual’s experience with regards to Scottish forced adoption practice, and the impact of loss, grief, and trauma, both at the time and thereafter. The impact on fathers, wider families and communities is also recognised.
Birthlink established the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland in 1984. This enables birth parents, adopted people and their relatives to place their names on the register with the potential of finding a match with an adopted person or family member who is also seeking to be reunited. We offer a free professional mediation service to families who wish to reconnect. We operate an After Adoption Information Line which is open to professionals and the public for advice and support relating to any matter relating to adoption.
Birthlink is committed to listening, hearing, and supporting all those affected by forced adoption.