Resources and information for if you would like to find out about family members you have been separated from.
If you are looking for a family member whose whereabouts is unknown but this is not as a result of forced adoption policies and practices, you can call Open Place on 1800 779 379, or VANISH (Victorian Adoption Network for Information and Self Help) on 1300 826 474.
In Victoria, Adoption Information Services (AIS) are provided by the Victorian State Government Department of Justice and Community Safety to help people separated by adoption who want to obtain adoption records or contact one another.
If eligible to do so, you can apply to AIS for adoption records. Information that may be available includes records created by past adoption agencies and courts, as well as copies of the adopted person’s original birth certificate.
The AIS website has information about their services and their contact details.
VANISH (Victorian Adoption Network for Information and Self Help) has been supporting people affected by forced adoption to search for their relatives for more than 25 years. VANISH has produced a search guide detailing all the steps of the search process that is available on their website.
While searching can be straightforward, this is often not the case and it can take a long time – many months or even longer. Records may be incomplete or inaccurate, and family members may be hard to locate as their names may have changed or they may have moved interstate or overseas.
Although it may take time, the success rate for locating a person is quite high. If you are successful in finding current information about the person you are searching for, it’s important to take time to carefully consider how to go about making contact.
You can call us if you need support on 1800 21 03 13.