People who are or who have been parties to an adoption may apply for information relevant to the adoption. DHHS and approved adoption agencies maintain an adoption information service.
Adults who have been adopted may apply to an adoption information service (such as VANISH, see “Contacts”) to obtain their records including their original birth certificate and information, where available, about the circumstances of their adoption.
Adoptive parents, adopted people under 18, birth parents who have placed their children for adoption in the past and relatives may also apply for information. Natural parents have a right to access identifying information about their adult adopted children, such as the adopted person’s name recorded at the time of adoption.
An adopted person can choose what type of contact they wish to have with their natural parents, including a desire for no contact, in a contact statement. However, if the adopted person does not want to have contact with their natural parent, that will not prevent the release of the initial identifying information to the natural parent.
Natural parents can apply to FIND (see Contacts) or relevant authority on the prescribed form. FIND, or the approved adoption information service, will advise if there has been a contact statement lodged by their adult adopted child expressing that adopted adult’s wishes about contact.
Anyone applying for information must attend an interview with an approved counsellor.
The interview is not a personal assessment. It is a discussion and information session explaining the services available to you through FIND. It will prepare you for possible outcomes and provide you with information about support and self-help groups in the community.
Other people must seek information about an adoption through the court.