Ward, Adoption and Donor Conception Records

Family Information Networks and Discovery (FIND)

People who have experienced Wardship, Adoption or Donor Conception often feel they need information and often look for an opportunity to contact relatives. This can be a positive and mutually beneficial process.

The Family Information Networks and Discovery (FIND) helps people to access personal and family information, records and support about past Wardship and Adoption, and provides counselling information about Donor Conception in the state of Victoria.

How Family Information Networks and Discovery can help

Victorian State Wards (Forgotten Australians)

  • Provide access to records and documents.
  • Assist former wards of state or their family members locate and make contact with each other.
  • 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 files or making contact with family members.

Adoption

FIND provides access to information about past adoptions that are connected to Victoria, including Intercountry Adoptions. FIND can also help people who were adopted in the United Kingdom. As well as accessing documents, FIND can help adopted people and their families make contact with each other.

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 works actively with 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.

Donor conception

The Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 (ART Act) requires that counselling is provided to people seeking access to this information. FIND has counsellors who provide information to individuals who are referred to us by the Victorian Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages (BDM) and only for the purpose of providing information about the potential consequences of disclosure of information.

The Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages manage the Central Register and Voluntary Registers in accordance with the ART Act. These registers may contain identifying and non-identifying information that can be released to donor conceived people and their parents, donors, and in the case of information on the Voluntary Register, to the relatives of these people. Applications for information from these registers can be made by completing the relevant application form.

Changes to the Adoption Act 1984

Natural parents will be able to receive identifying information about their adult adopted children, without the need for the adopted person's permission.

An adopted person is able to regulate contact by lodging a contact statement that outlines the type of contact they wish to have with their natural parent.

 

Further contact information

Family Information Network and Discovery (FIND)
Level 20
570 Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 8608 5700 or
Local call: 1300 769 926

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