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Family Tracing

a man walking between two buildings

Here at the Salvation Army Family Tracing Service we help find missing family members and attempt to re-establish contact between them.

It's our great joy to bring families back together and reunite loved ones. Using our wide international and local network, our Family Tracing programme successfully locates over 80 per cent of the missing persons we seek.

If you would like to use this service, please take the time to read through our frequently asked questions and also our conditions and guidelines, before filling out an application form.

Please note that you need to contact the family tracing service in the country where you live, not the one where you think your missing family member might be.

We ask that you print the application form out, fill it in and then send it back to us in the post. If you have any problems printing the forms out then contact us and we can send a copy of them to you.

If you have read through the FAQ and the conditions and guidelines and still have a question relating to your search, then feel free to email or phone us via the contact details in the top right box.

The more information you can provide to us the better, so we encourage you to attach a covering letter with any extra information that is not already on the application form.

Both the application form and the conditions and guidelines are available for download here:

Family Tracing - Conditions and Guidelines (PDF, 124KB)

Family Tracing - Application Form (PDF, 189KB)


How long will the search take?
It is impossible to give a timeframe for a search, as we are able to solve some enquiries the day they come in, whereas others can take months or even years to resolve.

How do I know if my search falls within your guidelines?
Please read through our conditions and guidelines (link above). If you have any further questions about your enquiry then feel free to email or phone us.

I want to search for someone overseas, do I still contact you?
The Family Tracing Service works with a worldwide protocol that you have to apply in the country in which you currently reside. This is for a number of reasons including language barriers, time differences and contact problems. For example if you are searching for someone who went missing in the UK, but you live in New Zealand, then you apply to the New Zealand office and we will process your application and forward it overseas.

I live overseas but wish to search for a New Zealander
If you are living outside of New Zealand and are looking for a missing family member within New Zealand then you must apply to the Family Tracing Service in your own country, or the one closest to you. If you are unsure which is your nearest Family Tracing Service then contact us and we will let you know.

How do I request an update on my search?
Due to high levels of interest in our service we encourage you to ring or write to us for an update every 2 to 3 months or so.

How do I obtain a copy of mine or someone else’s birth certificate?
For more information on obtaining birth certificates you can visit the Births, Deaths and Marriages website or contact them directly here:

PO Box 10-526
Wellington 6143
Level 3
109 Featherston Street
Wellington 6011
Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)
Phone: (+64 4) 463 9362

Adoption Cases
If you are an adopted adult over the age of 20, or the birth parent of an adopted person, it is strongly recommended that you read the ‘Adult Adoption Information Act 1985: Your Rights’ leaflet. This provides information relating to your rights as a birth parent or adopted person, and can be picked up at most government department buildings such as WINZ, or alternatively accessed on the web here.

How do I apply for a pre-adoption birth certificate?
In adoption cases it is required that we have a copy of the relevant pre-adoption birth certificate in order to verify that you are related to the missing person that we are trying to find. For example if you are a birth parent of an adopted person then you need to apply for their pre-adoption birth certificate and supply us with it before we can start the search.   Information for applying for this can be found in the ‘Your Rights’ leaflet and also on the BDM website. Alternatively you can contact the Births, Deaths and Marriages office directly with the address mentioned previously.

Further questions
If you have read through both the FAQ and the conditions and guidelines and your question still remains unanswered, then feel free to contact us and we will try to resolve it for you.

Contact us

Please send your completed form and any related questions to:

Family Tracing Service
PO Box 6015
Marion Square
Wellington 6141
Phone: +64 4 382 0710
Email: Family Tracing