This week is National Adoption Awareness Week, so what better opportunity to blog about adoption records for family historians.

In Victoria, legal adoption commenced in Victoria with the Adoption of Children Act 1928, which came into effect in 1929. De facto adoptions did happen before this time but no official ‘adoption’ records were kept. You may however find custody information in other types of records, for example court records or children’s ward registers (if the child was previously in state care).

To access legal adoption records, you need to make an application to the Department of Human Services’ Family Information Networks and Discovery (FIND) Service. Privacy restrictions do apply, but if you’re next of kin of the adopted person, you may be entitled to access these records.

For more information on adoption records and records of children brought up in care, you may wish to consult our Adoption and Forgotten Australians family history research guide.

For those researching children in care, check out the Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions exhibition, currently showing at Museum Victoria.

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