Adoption records

You must be registered with Family information networks and discovery to access records relating to adoptions in Victoria.

People who have experienced adoption or who have been a former ward or care leaver often feel they need information.

Family Information Networks and Discovery (FIND) helps people with an experience related to adoption with access to, and release of, records. This includes persons born overseas and adopted in Victoria.

In addition, former wards and care leavers can access records from the care leaver record service (CLRS). FIND can provide support to apply for records and also when records are released.

Changes to the Adoption Act 1984

On 25 October 2012, the Victorian parliament formally apologised to 'the mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who were profoundly harmed by past adoption practices in Victoria

While adult adopted persons have had access to identifying information about their natural parents since 2014, legislative changes in 2013 also allow natural parents to obtain identifying information about their adult adopted children.

All parties can express their wishes in relation to contact on the Adoption information register. This means that people’s wishes can be communicated to others, however it does not prevent natural parents or adopted persons obtaining identifying information.

Victorian state wards (forgotten Australians) and care leavers

For many reasons, people want to find out more about their own or their family members' experience as a Victorian state ward or more recent care leavers who were under the Guardianship of the State. FIND can:

  • Provide assistance  to lodge an application with the Care leavers records service (CLRS) in the department 
  • Work with other agencies that provide services to people who have been in Out of home care, including those providing service for indigenous Australians to assist you
  • Provide counselling and support when accessing or receiving files or making contact with family members.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Many Aboriginal people have experienced adoption and wardship that has had a profound influence on their health and wellbeing and led to disconnection from their families, traditional lands and culture.

FIND actively works with Link Up and a range of Aboriginal agencies  involved in supporting the Stolen Generations and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by adoption, wardship or other family separation.