Adoption is legally regulated in Victoria. The primary objective of adoption is to provide a safe, loving family for a child who cannot be cared for by their birth family. Another permanent arrangement for the care of a non-biological child is a permanent care order made by the Children’s Court.


Ben Sayer

Partner, Sayer Jones

Adoption information services

Last updated

1 July 2020

People who are or who have been parties to an adoption may apply for information relevant to the adoption. Adoption Victoria and approved agencies maintain an adoption information service.

Adults who have been adopted may apply to an adoption information service (such as VANISH, see ‘Contacts’ at the end of this chapter) to obtain their records. The records could include their original birth certificate and information about the circumstances of their adoption.

Adoptive parents, adopted people aged under 18, birth parents who have placed their children for adoption in the past and relatives may also apply for information. Natural parents have a right to access identifying information about their adult adopted children, such as the adopted person’s name recorded at the time of adoption.

In a contact statement, an adopted person can express what type of contact they choose to have with their natural parents (including a desire for no contact). However, an adopted person’s wish to not have contact with their natural parents does not prevent the release of the initial identifying information to their natural parents.

Natural parents can search Find & Connect (see ‘Contacts’ at the end of this chapter) or to the relevant authority on the prescribed form. The approved adoption information service can advise if a contact statement has been lodged by their adult adopted child expressing that adopted adult’s wishes about contact.

Anyone applying for information must attend an interview with an approved counsellor.

The interview is not a personal assessment. It is a discussion and information session explaining the services available to you. It will prepare you for possible outcomes and provide you with information about support and self-help groups in the community.

Other people must seek information about an adoption through a court.

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