Adoption, Ward and Carer Leaver Records
Family Information Networks and Discovery (FIND)
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 Records Support Service located in the Freedom of Information Unit. FIND can provide support to apply for records.
How Family Information Networks and Discovery can help
FIND provides access to information about past adoptions that are connected to Victoria, including Intercountry Adoptions. We 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.
Victorian State Wards (Forgotten Australians) and Care Leavers
- Provide assistance to access to records and documents
- 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 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.
Changes to the Adoption Act 1984
Natural parents are able to receive identifying information about their adult adopted children, without the need for the adopted person's permission.
On 18 August 2015, legislation was passed by the Victorian Parliament to repeal contact statements and associated penalties from the Adoption Act. For further information about these changes, please contact Family Information Network and Discovery (FIND).
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.
- FIND inquiry form
Use this form to contact FIND to get information or advice on accessing personal and family information, records and support about past Wardship and Adoption in Victoria. Alternatively, write to or call FIND. See details below.
- Personal stories from those with ward or adoption experience
Personal and sometimes moving stories about Adoption and Wardship experiences in the state of Victoria.
Further contact information
Family Information Network and Discovery (FIND)
570 Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Tel: 1300 769 926 (local call cost) or
1800 130 225 (national free call)