Information and rules regarding Family Tracing requests
Due to some negative experiences in the past, I believe it's necessary to put these in writing and it will be a requirement that you read and understand these when requesting a family tracing search.
It's a lot to read but I urge you to read it all as it's vital you understand what this process entails.
There will be no charge at all for this service. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from Australian Missing Persons Register who asks you for money to look for your missing person, this person is NOT working for me and should be reported to Police. The only people you will deal with are myself, my family tracing admin Vicki and one of my family researchers whose name I will give you when I contact you directly.
CONTACT DETAILS AND INFORMATION SUPPLIED
Your contact details and and the details of the person you are looking for will be given to one of my family researchers.
Your contact details will never be disclosed to any other person without your permission.
The information you supply about the person you are looking for will be published almost exactly as you submit it to me but I reserve the right to edit out parts of it, such as dates of birth (this can be used for identity theft) and personal medical details such as a mental illness, or personal information such as the person previously being in prison. I will also not publish information such as a death in your family prompting the search as that information should be given to the person by you and not read on the internet.
You need to tell me everything that is relevant to the search for the person. In some instances this could be very personal or embarrassing but the more you tell me the better chance we have of locating them for you. Anything very personal or sensitive will be kept strictly confidential. If you do not want a particular piece of information published then please specifically request that.
This also assists in predicting how the person will react to you making contact. If the last contact you had was a terrible fight then I need to know that, as they will be unlikely to welcome the contact. However if I am prepared I can speak to them on your behalf and try to arrange a reunion between you by explaining things.
Please ensure you give me your own contact details and make sure they are updated if they change. There have been times when I have found a person only to discover your e mail address is no longer valid and I can't contact you to give you the good news.
If there is any kind of court order that prevents you making contact with a person, you WILL NOT use me to make contact for you. Please understand this very well as this could have serious implications for you, all attempts to breach a court order in this way WILL be reported immediately to Police and you WILL be charged. This includes Apprehended Violence Orders, court orders regarding custody of children etc. If there is anything like that in place you MUST disclose this to me. Failure to do so will result in immediate termination of the search and Police action.
We will not be involved in searching for someone who owes you money, for child support or otherwise. The Australian Court system is the place for those matters and I can refer you to the correct department if need be.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Your search may take quite some time. It may even take a few years, it depends on how easy or difficult it is to locate them. I get hundreds of family tracing requests each year and as I do this in addition to the Missing Persons work, I am absolutely swamped most of the time. I do not have a huge staff, I do my work alone and use only three additional unpaid family tracers who are only available in limited times so please understand you are placed in a queue and we'll get to you as soon as possible. I know that's frustrating and I apologise. If there is an urgency about your request - for example if you have a dying family member who wants to see their missing loved one before they pass away - then please specify that in your initial query and you will generally be taken care of sooner. If we find that you have been dishonest about this in order to jump the queue, your search will be immediately terminated.
It is possible we might never find them. If they have gone to a great deal of trouble to hide or change their identity or if you have very few details to go on when searching, or they have a very common name then it makes it nearly impossible. I do not have access to government organisations like Centrelink, Medicare or the RTA due to Australia's privacy laws. If you need that sort of search done I urge you to report the person missing to your local Police who can check those sort of things.
Please don't continually contact me to ask if there has been any news. I will immediately contact you if there is any news at all. Please don't ask why it's taking so long or request that I hurry things up, this is a free of charge service provided by very limited resources and if you feel the search is taking too long I urge you to employ a private investigator instead.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SUBMIT A SEARCH?
Your query will be placed onto this website on the Family Tracing pages. Feel free to send a photo and that will be included. Almost everyone with the internet does a search on their own name at some point and if that happens, they will find your entry and know that you are searching for them. They would then make contact with me and I will ask them if they would like to contact you. In addition to being placed on the Register the details are given to one of my family tracers to work on or if I have time I will work on it myself.
IF THEY DO NOT WANT CONTACT WITH YOU?
......then you have to respect and accept that. I'm sorry, I know it's hard but they have the right to make that decision, just as you would have that right being in the same situation. I will do my best to speak to them and urge them to at least make a phone call and there are very few people I have found who outright refuse to make contact. I will NOT give you their contact details under any circumstances without their permission. If I find the person I will contact you to confirm you still want to make contact and will obtain your permission to pass on your details to them. Then it is their choice whether they want to contact you. In some instances the person will give me permission to give you their contact details.
Please take some time to consider what may happen after you reunite with the person. You may have an unrealistic view of how things will progress. Ideally the person will welcome you into their lives but there may be cases where the person wants to meet you once but have no further contact, they may insist on phone or e mail-only contact, you might meet and the atmosphere is very awkward and you choose not to contact them again. They may not have told their current family and friends that you even exist so that can be life-changing for them if they admit they have a secret daughter or son. Please allow them to make these adjustments and give them time to sort through these complex issues. I can refer you to professionals that may be able to help with these issues.
I have also personally experienced this, with my mother locating her birth family just a few years ago and meeting three sisters who had no idea she existed. I know exactly how you are feeling and all the emotions produced.