Post Adoption Support & Accessing Adoption Records

Post Adoption Support and Accessing Adoption Records

Post adoption support with Family Spirit

Family Spirit Adoption Services provides information, support and counselling for individuals, couples and families affected by adoption.

Assistance is provided for adoptions facilitated by Family Spirit and its previous entities CatholicCare and Centacare. All support is based on individual needs and honours the philosophy of openness in adoption.

Our post adoption support services include:

  • assisting individuals to access relevant adoption information
  • assisting with searches for an adopted person, parent or sibling
  • supporting and mediating outreach and connection with birth relatives
  • specialised counselling to support adopted people and birth parents to address trauma, grief, loss, identity issues, and relationship matters across all life stages
  • individual, couple, and family counselling to assist adoptive parents.
Post Adoption Support and Accessing Adoption Records

Adoption records

Family Spirit provides support in accessing adoption records, in accordance with the Adoption Act 2000 and Adoption Regulation 2015.

These pieces of legislation emphasise the best interests of the child and encourage openness in adoption. Openness in adoption refers to the recognition that there is often a benefit for children when both their families (birth and adoptive) remain in contact with each other after an adoption order has been made.

Family Spirit holds records related to many of the former Catholic Children’s Homes. Family Spirit recognises the rights of previous residents of these homes and their relatives to access records about themselves or their families. Family Spirit acknowledges that having access to this information can play an important role in people’s understanding of their own or their family’s life story and identity.



Family Spirit provides assistance and support with mediation and outreach for those wanting help with locating and connecting with family members, in accordance with the Adoption Act 2000 and Adoption Regulation 2015.

Family Spirit can provide resources to help make initial contact with relatives, act as a go-between when requested, and facilitate face-to-face meetings if desired.

Research indicates that disclosure of information does not disrupt otherwise happy adoptive families – rather, it may promote greater understanding between the parties involved. At all stages along this journey, which may at times be difficult and confronting, Family Spirit offers counselling services and support.

How we can help with adoption searches

  • Information on finding out about an adoption and accessing adoption records
  • Searching for an adopted person, parent, or sibling
  • Supporting reunification and providing an intermediary service for anyone who needs support or assistance to contact birth relatives
  • Assisting you to find the most appropriate support services for you or your child

Adoption-focused counselling

Family Spirit has a team of qualified practitioners with specialist knowledge and skills in the field of adoption-focused counselling. Our service is flexible and can take place:

  • face to face in our dedicated on-site counselling space
  • via telephone
  • by video call.

Areas adoption-focused counselling can help address include:

  • the impacts of grief, loss, and trauma
  • understanding the impact of adoption across different life stages
  • relationship and attachment concerns
  • managing relationships with birth family
  • navigating outreach and communication
  • parenting adopted children across different life stages
  • managing sibling relationships.

Supporting openness in adoption

Family Spirit Adoption Services recognise adoption is a lifelong journey and provides post adoption support to adopted children, their adoptive families, and birth families.

Post Adoption Support and Accessing Adoption Records

What documentation do I need to provide to obtain my adoption records?

For us to release identifying information you will need an Adoption Information Certificate (previously known as the Supply Authority). You must apply via the Adoption Information Unit (AIU), Locked Bag 5000, Parramatta NSW 2124 Phone: 1300 799 023 or (02) 9716 3005 (from overseas)



After you receive your Adoption Information Certificate you need to complete our application forms and provide us with certified ID. We are always happy to have a chat with you to clarify this process or to help you with your application.

Does Family Spirit provide counselling support?

We recognise that reviewing your information can be difficult and we offer face-to-face or telephone counselling services should you wish to have additional support. If you require longer-term counselling support, we can refer you to organisations that specialise in assisting those impacted by past adoption practices.

We have experience working with adopted people, birth parents, adoptive parents, and siblings across all life stages. Some of the areas adoption-focused counselling can help with include:

  • the impacts of grief, loss, and trauma
  • understanding the impact of adoption across different life stages
  • relationship and attachment concerns
  • managing relationships with birth family
  • navigating outreach and communication
  • parenting adopted children across different life stages
  • managing sibling relationships.

Is there a cost involved?

No, this service is free. 

Can another person obtain information about my adoption?

Yes, if this person is your birth parent or a child placed for adoption by you. In certain circumstances other family members can also obtain information however it is best to contact Family Spirit to discuss your individual circumstances.

Can I stop my birth parent / child I placed for adoption making contact with me?

If the adoption order was made before 1990, a contact veto can be lodged with the Adoption Information Unit (AIU). A contact veto prevents another party to the adoption from making contact with their parent or child.

How can Family Spirit help me find my birth mother / birth father / other family members?

The Family Spirit Adoptions Team help people who would like support and assistance in contacting their relative. We advise adopted people and birth parents to write a letter to their relative first, as a phone call or contact via social media can feel too ‘sudden’. We can provide resources and assistance in drafting this ‘first letter’, supporting you and giving feedback. We can send your letter via our agency and act as a “go-between” until you both feel comfortable communicating directly. The Adoptions Team is also experienced in facilitating face-to-face meetings, and we can support you if you and your relative wish to meet in person.

Which Catholic Children’s Homes do Family Spirit hold records for?

Family Spirit holds records for the below Catholic Children’s Homes and other institutions. For more information about the location of other records, see Find & Connect | The Find & Connect web resource is for Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and everyone with an interest in the history of out-of-home ‘care’ in Australia. (

  • Holy Family Marayong
  • Mater Dei
  • Mater Hospital Records
  • Roman Catholic Orphan School
  • St Anne’s
  • St Anthony’s
  • St Brigid’s
  • St Catherine’s Brooklyn
  • St John’s St Joseph’s, Cowper
  • St John’s St Joseph’s, Goulburn
  • St Joseph’s Girls Home Lane Cove
  • St Joseph’s Home for Children, Croydon
  • St Joseph’s Kenmore
  • St Joseph’s Orphanage Kincumber
  • St Magdalen’s Refuge Tempe
  • St Martha’s Industrial School, Leichhardt
  • St Patrick’s Armidale
  • Waitera.
Post Adoption Support and Accessing Adoption Records

Speak with our team

Please call our team on 13 18 19 for a confidential discussion, review our FAQs or complete the contact form below.

Foster Carer & Two Boys | Contact Family Spirit

Contact Us

Call our team 9am to 5pm weekdays on 13 18 19
(In an emergency please call 000)

Family Spirit Ltd, Suite 301, 2-14 Meredith Street, Bankstown NSW 2200

To send us a message or to be contacted by a staff member please complete the contact form below.