Adoption law changes give equal rights to information and contact

Victorian Parliament
25 August 2015
Victorian Parliament

The Victorian Parliament has passed legislative changes to repeal aspects of the Adoption Act 1984 that penalise natural parents who attempt to contact their adult adopted children.

Under the changes, ‘contact statements’, which restrict natural parents from contacting their adult adopted children if the adoptee lodged a statement specifying ‘no contact’, will be removed from Victorian law.

By removing contact statements and penalties for non-compliance, adult adoptees, natural parents and other parties to adoption will have equal rights to express their wishes regarding contact with their natural family.

This change does not affect a person’s right to register their wishes regarding contact with their natural family on the Adoption Information Register.

Existing contact statements will remain in place until they expire but penalties will no longer apply breaches.

The legislative change is in response to feedback from natural parents, particularly women who were affected by past forced adoption practices, who regarded the contact statements as hurtful and discriminatory as they only targeted parents.

People affected by adoption who wish to access personal and family information, records and support about past wardship and adoption can contact Family Information Networks and Discovery (FIND) on 1300 769 926.

More information about access to adoption and ward records is available on the Ward and Adoption Records page.

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