We provide the following services:
- National Contact Register
- Preparation for reunion
- Outreach, intermediary and support services
- Ongoing support to all parties
- Referral Service
National Contact Register
You can place your details on our register, if there is a match – that is, the person you seek has also placed their details on our register, we will contact you and discuss your wishes. Placing your name on a register does not mean you want to have contact, you may just want to leave information for another party. Our register is completely confidential, only our staff can access details and your information will not be shared without your permission.
Go to our Contact Register now
If we cannot help we will endeavour to refer you to an agency that can. Go to FAQ for more information.
People generally seek counselling or search because there is something missing in their lives. Counselling can help to better understand yourself and to explore the barriers to leading the life they wish. Separation from family has consequences, common feelings include sadness, anger, shame, anxiety and guilt. Talking to someone helps in preparing yourself for the many possible outcomes of search and mediation.
Preparation for reunion
As in any venture preparation is important. Understanding your own and each person’s perspectives is more likely to lead to satisfaction with the outcome. Reading widely and considering possible consequences and how you will deal with them leads to more realistic expectations and more satisfaction – whatever the outcome.
People often say ‘I don’t want to think too much about it, until and if it happens’ in the mistaken belief that it will hurt less if they encounter rejection. Such an approach simply doesn’t work in business and doesn’t work in reunion. No matter what your thinking brain is telling you, your subconscious brain does have hopes, dreams, wishes and expectations – whether good or bad and these sub conscious beliefs will affect how you deal with life and whatever you find.
Search can be simple and straight forward but more often it is an art form, collating bits of information from various sources. Australia has very strict privacy laws and unfortunately we can only access information in the public domain thus we cannot guarantee finding the person we seek. The name of the person we seek and how much information you have will have an impact on our ability to locate the person.
Outreach, intermediary and support services
One of the main advantages of using a mediator is that we can provide support to the found party. Often the person looking will have thought about it for a long time and will have chosen the right time to search based on their own circumstances.
The found person, even if they are happy to be found and hoped it would happen has no choice about timing. One day they get a letter or phone call and their world is changed and it may be a difficult time for reasons completely unrelated to the searching person eg they may be struggling in their work or family life and the timing could be very difficult.
It’s common for found people to just need time and the opportunity to talk through their circumstances with a neutral party. They may have very positive feelings of joy and relief at being found but they may also struggle with feelings of guilt, anger and sadness. They may have never spoken to anyone about their circumstances and really appreciate the opportunity to talk about their story, their journey.
Our experience over the past 30 years shows that better outcomes are usually achieved when an experienced, understanding and supportive mediator makes the first contact. Whatever the circumstances it is often a shock to be found, a neutral mediator enables the ‘found’ person to talk about their situation without pressure.
For further information – download our brochure Using a Mediator(link to open in a new page)
Ongoing support to all parties
Reconnection with a family member is not an event but an ongoing process, particularly in the first couple of years when the parties are trying to work out if and how they fit in each other’s lives. Reconnecting after loss and separation is different to other relationships and often friends and family cannot understand the complex emotions that it entails. Being able to phone and have a chat with a neutral party can be very helpful.
If you are a UK adult child migrant or were raised in an Australian Children’s home we can put you in touch with organisations that provide specific support and can link you in with other people with similar experiences. It may be that you simply want to put your name on our Contact Register in case the person(s) you seek are also registered.
Jigsaw was set up by adopted people in 1978, whilst we continue to work with people touched by adoption we have evolved into a professional organisation that assists people in many different situations. Most people involved in Jigsaw have experienced some type of family separation. Members get a newsletter bi-monthly, have use of our extensive library and can apply to be on our Board of Management.