Legal adoption began in Victoria in 1928. Before this, informal arrangements took place where children were put up for adoption through the churches and sometimes through the courts. In the case of adopted children, you won't be able to find a birth certificate with the adoptive parents' names on it before 1928.
PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - INFORMAL ADOPTION RECORDS
The Public Record Office Victoria may have records about adopted children before 1928. There was a requirement for people to notify the state government that an adoption occurred, and details were recorded in registers maintained by the state government such as De Facto Adoption Register.
They may have records if the child has been made a ward of the state. See Orphanages, Industrial Schools and Reformatories.
They may also have records if a court ordered a child to be removed from its parents. This occurred in the local Court of Petty Sessions before 1906. After 1906 it occurred in the local Children's Court. See Victorian Courts of Petty Sessions.
It should be noted that some of these records are closed under Section 9 and as they relate to children, they will not be released for 99 years after the creation of the records. An application under Freedom of Information can be made.
PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - DE FACTO ADOPTION REGISTER 1906-1920 (VPRS 17822)
There was a requirement for people to notify the state government that an adoption occurred. This has not been digitized.
Legal adoption began in Victoria in 1928. Adoptees' birth certificates may be obtained using the Births Deaths Marriages Victoria website. For these records see Birth Registration Records.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND COMMUNITY SAFETY - ADOPTION RECORDS
Records relating to adoption may be obtained using the Department of Justice and Community Safety website; these are subject to certain access restrictions which are detailed on the website.
PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - ADOPTION RECORDS
Other records relating to adoption can be obtained using the Public Record Office Victoria website. These records are closed under Section 9 and as they relate to children, they will not be released for 99 years after the creation of the records. An application under Freedom of Information may be made. This is a finding aid for adoption records.
ADOPTION VICTORIA, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND COMMUNITY SAFETY (FORMERLY FIND)
Adoption Victoria is a service provided by the Victorian Government. It provides access to information about past adoptions that are connected to Victoria, including inter-country adoptions. The Adoption Victoria service can also help people who were adopted in the United Kingdom access documents. The Adoption Victoria service can help adopted people and their families make contact with each other. Adoption Victoria works in partnership with other adoption information service providers and agencies that provide services to the adoption community.
VICTORIAN ADOPTION NETWORK FOR INFORMATION AND SELF HELP (VANISH)
VANISH is a post adoption support organisation funded by the Victorian Government to provide search and support services for individuals who are adopted or who were separated from their child through past adoption practices. VANISH also provides search services for people who grew up in Victorian orphanages and homes, and care leavers.
LINK-UP VICTORIAIf you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, over 18 years of age, living in Victoria or Tasmania and have been separated from family, community and culture they can assist you to find and be reunited with your family, culture and traditional country.