Adoption Records - Family Information Networks and Discovery

Adoption is now seen as a lifelong process during which adopted persons, natural parents, natural relatives, and adoptive parents seek information about, and contact with, one another.

The Victorian Adoption Act 1984 provides eligible applicants the right to find information about an adoption that is connected to Victoria.

How the Family Information Networks and Discovery (FIND) service can help

FIND (the Service) provides access to information about past adoptions that are connected to Victoria, including Inter-country Adoptions. The Service can also help people who were adopted in the United Kingdom.

As well as accessing documents, the Service can help adopted people and their families make contact with each other. We work in partnership with other adoption information service providers and agencies that provide services to the adoption community.

Who can apply for information?

  • Adult adopted people
  • Adopted people under 18
  • Adult children of adopted people
  • Natural parents
  • Natural relatives: aunts, uncles, grandparents or siblings of the adopted person
  • Adoptive parents.

What information might I receive?

  • Records created by past adoption agencies and courts can usually be accessed.
  • Copies of the adopted persons original birth certificate or other documents may be available.
  • Adult adopted people and their adult children are eligible to receive information from records that will identify other natural family members, including natural parents.
  • Natural parents can also receive identifying information that includes a copy of the adult adopted persons adoption order and information from the records of adoption.
  • Other applicants are able to access information about the adoption but generally, information that identifies that adopted person can only be given with their consent.

Adoption information register

The Service is required to maintain an adoption information register in accordance with the Adoption Act.

When an application is lodged with FIND

  • The contact details, desires about providing information, obtaining information, or meeting other people involved in their adoption is entered onto the Adoption Information Register. All information is kept strictly confidential. Registered applicants can update or cancel the details on the Register at any time.
  • In accordance with Section 34 of the Electoral Act 202, the Victorian Electoral Commission has agreed to undertake cross-matching and verification provision of up to date enrolment details of electors (excluding silent electors) as requested by FIND on an ad hoc basis for the purpose of enabling FIND to fulfil its prescribed obligations under the Adoption Act 1984.

The Service provides services to inter-country adoptions that have taken place in Victoria; adoptions that occurred in the United Kingdom. The Service can also assist with interstate adoptions.

Personal stories of adoption

Children of adopted persons

The children of adopted people may have just as great a need to search for information and for family members. Read more about their stories ....

Adoptive parents - Phoebe's story

Phoebe also supported her 20 year old daughter's search, but friends made it harder by trying to change her decision. Read more about her story ...


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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