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Obtaining social and medical information

Social and medical information is information ‘prescribed’ under the Adoption Act 2000.

This data is held by FACS or other non-government agencies and is about the physical and intellectual attributes, educational and vocational qualifications, social and cultural background, health and welfare, family and other relationships, religious beliefs, hobbies and interests of a birth parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt or uncle of the adopted person, or his or her adoptive parents, that will give the adopted person or birth parent knowledge of each other.

The amount of social and medical information available varies, depending on when and how the adoption was arranged and the record-keeping practices at the time.

Unfortunately FACS holds no files for adoptions that occurred prior to the mid 1950’s. Adoption files from the mid 1950s and early 1960s have limited details, whereas adoption files from the late 1960s onwards provide more information. However, if the adoption was arranged through a private solicitor or agency, there will be minimal information on the FACS adoption file.

Some adoption agencies still hold their own files. If the adoption was arranged through one of these agencies you will be given their contact details so you can apply to them for the information.

For more information contact:

DCJ Adoption Information Unit
1300 799 023

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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019