Series VPRS 17833
Ward Adoption Register - Placed with a view to Adoption (PVA)
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1939 - 1992
  Series in Custody 1939 - 1992
  Contents 1939 - 1992
Public Access: Closed
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
Display entries per page
Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1939 - 1961 Children's Welfare Department 1924-1961 (previously known as Department for Neglected Children 1887-1924), Chief Secretary's Department VA 1467
1961 - 1971 Social Welfare Branch, Chief Secretary's Department VA 2784
1971 - 1979 Social Welfare Department VA 946
1979 - 1985 Department of Community Welfare Services VA 613
1985 - 1992 Department of Community Services (also known as Community Services Victoria) VA 2633
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
Display entries per page
Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2015 - cont Department of Health and Human Services VA 5037
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Refer to the list of records in this series. An index in the front cover of the register provides access to the content of the volume.

    Separate volume of index ( refer to VPRS 17852) also provides access to the register for the period 1939 to 1970.

  • Function / Content
    This series records the names of children placed with applicants with a view to future adoption, over the period from 1939 to 1992. These placements were known as PVA - Placed with a View to Adoption.

    The Ward Adoption Register was maintained by the Social Welfare Department, later the Department of Community Welfare Services, to record all wards of state and children who were eligible for adoption. Prior to the Adoption of Children Act 1964, the department was involved only in the adoption of state wards. The registers were most recently utilised as a reference tool by the Adoption Information Service within the Department of Community Services Victoria, and were copied to microfilm during this time.

    Each volume of the Register appears to have been maintained at the earlier stage of the adoption process: when a 'case plan' decision was made in favour of adoption, or when the child was placed with a view to adoption (PVA). As the entries were made prior to a court order, an entry does not necessarily signify a finalised / legalised adoption. Some PVAs were unsuccessful and did not proceed to formal adoption. These instances are often recorded with an entry noting Placement Breakdown.

    Prior to the introduction of this series, adoption of state wards was recorded only on the ward entry of the State Ward Children's Registers, 1864-1966 [VPRS 4527]. After the Adoption of Children Act 1928, 'adoption order' stamps were placed on the relevant pages of the State Wards Children's Registers, noting the date the adoption order was granted, the judge who granted the order, and the applicants' names. The use of the adoption order stamp continued after the introduction of the Ward Adoption Register in 1939.

    The Registers are arranged in chronological order. Each register has an alphabetically arranged index, either within the volume itself or in a separate volume (see VPRS 17852).

    The indexes facilitate access to the information contained in the main body of the register. They list, in alphabetical divisions, the surnames of wards/clients and adoptive parents, and provide a reference number. The reference number is usually the register entry number; in the second register, the folio number was used occasionally. Entry numbers were allocated sequentially as each ward/client's details were entered. The entry numbers are predominantly in numerical order. Some numbers appear out of sequence: if the placement was not successful and the child was placed with another couple, further details may be entered under the same entry number in a later part of the register. In such instances, a cross reference to the location is provided as 'see under entry 396'. Alternatively, the new details may have been entered under a new entry number and cross reference made between the two numbers.

    The index to the first register is in a separate volume (see VPRS 17852) and appears to have been created at a later stage, possibly circa 1970. This alphabetical indexes list all wards/clients, all adoptive parents/applicants and provides the file number and register entry number for each. The ward/client's date of birth may appear also.

    The ward/client file numbers are derived from three numbering systems: five digit ward registration numbers which continued to be issued from the same sequence until 1978 when the numbers reached over 96,000 (e.g., 85141, 94825); between 1978 and 1986, Family and Adolescent Services (F&AS) 4-digit single numbers (e.g., 2972, 6105) were introduced, which in turn were replaced with the Statutory Client Information System (SCIS) three part file number (e.g. 100-4-543) in 1986. In later years it appears that the applicants' files were being physically merged with the ward/client file as the file number indexed with the applicant's details is that of the ward. Towards the end of the third register, the applicant's own adoption program file number was being entered. Some details were entered wrongly into the indexes. For example, sometimes in the third register, the applicants' surname was entered on the page relating to the ward/client, e.g., the applicants 'Baxter' were entered under 'M' for their adopted child 'Munro'.

    Main Body of Registers:
    The three registers provide varying amounts of information. The first register consists of hand-ruled columns; the second register is an adapted pre-printed 'De Facto Adoption Register' and the third is a purpose designed pre-printed '`Ward Adoption Register'.

    [Ward Adoption Register (contents 1939-1970). Physically marked on the cover, `PVA 1939-1970 Inclusive. The first Ward Adoption Register provides: register entry number; state ward file number; name and date of birth of child; surname and address of applicants; whether applicants' home visited by Guardian Ad Litum; dates of Court attendance for Preliminaries, Preliminaries and Finalisation; the Result; i.e., whether adoption granted; and to where files were referred/any remarks. Entries are numbered 1 through to 2480, covering a date range of 1939 to 1971. The first volume is in very poor condition and requires conservation treatment. While being prepared for microfilming by the Adoption information Service, a 'title page' was hand written on the inside cover.

    Ward Adoption Register (contents 1971-1975). Physically marked on the spine: `Wards De Facto Adoption PVA register 1971-1975, and the cover, `PVA 1971 - 30.6.75. See Ward Register'.

    The second Ward Adoption Register is a register of children placed with a view to adoption (PVA), from 1 July 1971.

    Information recorded:

    - Placed with View to Adoption (PVA) registration number
    - Name and date of birth of child
    - Ward number of child
    - Dates of placement and adoption [sometimes includes CC court number or name of court where adoption granted]; surname and address of person by whom adopted; and any remarks, including child's gender and age at adoption

    Ward Adoption Register (contents 1975-1992). Physically marked on the spine: `Wards Register'.

    The third Ward Adoption Register documents: register entry number; state ward file number; name, date of birth and sex of child; parents' status (S=single; M=married to other parent; Mex=married, child ex-nuptial; D=divorced; W=widowed; NK=not known); date of mother's/ father's consent; child's special needs; date eligible for adoption; date of and age at PVA; applicants' name; child's new given names; date adoption granted; age of child when adoption granted; Court number, location and name of Judge.

  • Recordkeeping System
    Registers are arranged chronologically by the date range covered. An index in the front cover and separate volume of Index (see VPRS 17852) were created as part of the recordkeeping system.

More research resourcesMore research resources
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
1939 - ? 1970 Index to VPRS 17833 Ward Adoption Register - Placed with a view to Adoption (PVA) VPRS 17852
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
Display entries per page
Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
Display entries per page
Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
Display entries per page
Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1939 - 1992 Closed 2
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
1939 - ? 1970 Index to VPRS 17833 Ward Adoption Register - Placed with a view to Adoption (PVA) VPRS 17852
More research resourcesMore research resources