What is Next Step?

We are a free and independent service that provides support to birth families whose child has been placed for adoption.

We are based in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Welcome to Next Step

An introduction to Family Routes our ‘parent organisation’ from Lynda Wilson our Chief Executive.

‘A family life for everyone’

Family Routes is an independent charity organisation with five distinct services offering a range of support and counselling to those affected by adoption and fertility issues.

We exist to listen, understand, support and enable.

Next Step


Next Step is a Family Routes service providing free and independent service that provides support to birth parents whose child/children have been placed for adoption.

If you are attending Next Step you will most likely have been referred by a social worker, or if your child has been placed for adoption in the last 3 years and you need support please call us on 028 9073 6086 to arrange to speak to someone.

We understand how difficult and painful this process is and we are here to help you process, make sense of your experiences and answer your questions.

We won’t tell you what to do and we aren’t here to judge.

We want to make the experience as easy for you as possible which means we can meet you wherever you feel comfortable, that might be our offices, on a walk or meeting for a coffee. We will come to you.

Barbara in action counselling

1 to 1 support

Our priority is your wellbeing. We want to help you understand what has happened and answer the questions you might have.

We can come to you

It’s important to us that we meet you where you feel safe and comfortable.

We'll send you a reminder

We know life gets busy so we will send you a reminder and rearrange meetings when you need us to.

We are here when you need us

Everyone’s experience is different and you may need us to support you for a short time or for a bit longer. Some birth families come back again at a time when they feel better able to revisit their experiences.

We want to support you when the time is right for you. If your child has been placed for adoption in the last 3 years and you need support please call us on 028 9073 6086.

We provide a place where you can talk openly

It might feel like everything happened all at once and you didn’t really get a chance to get your head around everything and are still feeling a bit confused. We can help you understand the adoption process and what you have been through.

Maybe you need someone to talk to, someone who will listen to you and your views without judgement. We want to help you make sense of your story and figure out your next step.

Next Step: an introduction and what to expect

Family Routes building

Next Step at Family Routes on Heron Road

We look forward to seeing you.