On this page

  • Who can apply for adoption information
  • How to apply
  • Counselling is not required before receiving information
  • After you receive information

Download the application form

People affected by adoption have their own experience of adoption, which may change across their life. Many find it beneficial to seek the records that were created at the time of their adoption.

The information which may be available usually comes from:

  • the Register of Adoptions held by Births Deaths and Marriages
  • the records from the Court that made the adoption order
  • the records held by the adoption agency.

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

An eligible applicant may also seek a copy of the adopted person’s original birth certificate. Learn more about applying for a birth certificate.

Who can apply for adoption information

Adult adopted people, their natural parents and their natural children are eligible to receive information that will identify other natural family members.

Sometimes other applicants can access information about the adoption but generally, information that identifies that adopted person can only be given with their consent.


I was adopted

People who have been adopted can receive information from their records, including information that may identify their natural parents and other family.


I am the natural parent of an adopted person 

You can receive information from the records of your child’s adoption.

While adult adopted people have had access to identifying information about their parents since 1984, mothers and fathers can also obtain identifying information about their adult adopted children following legislative changes in 2013.

Natural parents can receive identifying information that includes:

  • a copy of the adult adopted person’s adoption order, and
  • information from the records of adoption.

My parent was adopted

There are two circumstances in which the child of an adoptee can access information from their parent’s adoption record:

  • where this is done with the knowledge of the adopted person
  • where the adopted person has died.

This application can only be done through the Adoption Information Service.


I am a natural relative of an adopted person

A grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt can apply for information that identifies the adopted person if:

  • the Adoption Information Service is satisfied that circumstances exist which make it desirable, and
  • it meets consent requirements.

If the adopted person is over 18 years, their agreement in writing is required, or evidence that they are deceased.

If the adopted person is under 18 years, consent requirements are:

  • consideration of the wishes of the child or evidence of death
  • agreement in writing or evidence of death for adoptive mother
  • agreement in writing or evidence of death for adoptive father.

If consent requirements cannot be obtained, adoption information can only be provided to a natural relative by the County Court.


Other people

If you are not a relative, you cannot apply to the Adoption Information Service for information. You can apply for adoption information to the County Court of Victoria under section 100 of the Adoption Act.

How to apply

If you are eligible to receive adoption information you can apply:

  • by contacting the Adoption Information Service, or
  • via our application form.

Download the application form

You can contact the Adoption Information Service by:


Applying through a former adoption agency

You can also apply for adoption information through a former adoption agency. The Adoption Information Service can help you determine whether an agency will be able to help you.

The agency will then work with the Adoption Information Service to provide you with any information you are eligible to receive.

This includes agencies where the agency has merged with another, or the agency has changed names. For example, the adoption records created by St Joseph's Babies Home in Glenroy are now held by CatholicCare.

You can find out more about past adoption agencies on the Find and Connect website (External link)

If the adoption agency that arranged your adoption has ceased to provide adoption services, you need to apply for records through the Adoption Information Service. Even if the adoption agency does continue to operate, you may choose to seek your records through the Adoption Information Service.

The four former adoption agencies who may provide adoption information are:

Counselling is not required before receiving information

Counselling is no longer required when applying for adoption information. This comes following an amendment to the Adoption Act 1984 in 2022.

A case manager will offer counselling and talk to the applicant about what information may be available. This will include letting them know that the information may be distressing. The extent of the support provided will vary depending on the needs of that person.

After you receive information

Many people seek adoption information to search for family.

Learn more about searching for and contacting a family member separated by adoption.

Find out more

Contact us

Contact the Adoption Information Service

Email: adoptionrecords@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)

Tel: 1300 194 757