Series VPRS 18028
Solicitor Arranged Adoptions Registers - Adoptions & Permanent Care Unit
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1964 - 1992
  Series in Custody 1964 - 1992
  Contents 1964 - 1992
Public Access: Closed
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1964 - 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
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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.

  • Function / Content
    This series comprises ten registers documenting adoptions which were arranged through solicitors, between 1964 and 1993. The series is not a true collection but an artificial arrangement of registers compiled by the Department as administrative tools documenting adoptions privately arranged through solicitors, usually on behalf of a relative or defacto applicant. Some of the registers in the collection have been compiled for reference purposes to provide a chronological listing of adoption cases or adoption consents taken from birth parents. Other registers in the collection may be used to gain access to individual case history adoption files by referencing file numbers for corresponding case files.

    Prior to 1964, adoptions could be arranged privately through solicitors, ministers of religion, and medical doctors. The Adoption Act of 1964 gave rise to a new administrative system for arranging and managing adoptions. Organisations arranging adoptions had to be registered as approved adoption agencies, and officers of the Department were called upon to provide the legal requirements before an adoption could be granted. In cases of spouse or relative adoption, where the adopter may have been the birth mother's new husband or a birth parent's relative, the Department representative was called in to provide a report to the court on the adopting parents. In cases where a child was placed privately, the court often appointed a departmental officer as guardian ad litem of the child, and the officer would provide the court with the necessary reports for the adoption proceedings to be granted.


    Entries in these registers are arranged in approximate chronological order by the date of adoption application or the date an adoption order was granted by a judge of the County Court, with the exception of the two Country Solicitor Adoptions Registers (Series 292/1/8 & 292/1/9) which are arranged in alphabetical order by the applicants'/adoptee's surname and then chronologically by date of the adoption application.

    Information recorded in these registers includes:

    - Central Index/File Registration number;
    - adoptee's original surname, sex, date of birth/age at adoption, and status (either 'Illegitimate' or 'Legitimate'/'Nuptial' or 'Ex Nuptial');
    - applicants' surname and locality of residence;
    - name of solicitor and whether the solicitor advised or visited;
    - date of adoption application/date adoption order granted (and name of judge who granted order);
    - County Court number or location; and date of Court hearing;
    - whether Notice of Identification (marked with letter 'A') and Consent to Adoption (marked with letter 'B') were received;
    - remarks/reasons, if any;
    - type of Adoption Order, e.g., 1=unrelated child, 2=grand parents, 3=other relatives, 4=child born prior to marriage, 5=child of former marriage, *(asterisk)=country area.

    Volume 1: [Series 292/1/1] Solicitors Cases 1964-1970

    This register records adoption cases arranged through solicitors from 1964 through to 1970. Entries are numbered 1 to 1363.

    Information recorded in the register includes: Case number, infant surname, applicant surname, solicitor name, name of judge and date of granting of adoption order. The register also indicates the Type of application, with five options for adoption type: 1 = Unrelated child, 2 - Grandparents, 3 = Other Relative, 4 = Child Born Prior to Marriage, 5 = Child of Former Marriage.

    There is a handwritten listing titled Illegal Placement Investigations in the last page of the Register. This provides a list of surnames of adoption applicants, their suburb or locality of residence, and a date, presumed to be the date of investigation. There is one entry dated 8 February 1961, and the remaining sixteen of the entries are dated between March and December 1967.

    Volume 2: [Series 292/1/2] Solicitors Adoptions 1971-1979: Adoptions Finalised -

    Private Adoptions - Report by Mr Dawson and Regional Officers From Approx. Start Aug 1971 to Aug 1979.

    The register records adoptions arranged through solicitors which were notified centrally to the Department over the period 1971 through to 1979. The Mr Dawson referred to in the title of the volume refers to Herbert Dawson, a senior officer within the Department with responsibility for managing adoptions.

    Entries are not consecutive within the volume. The entries are numbered from 6741 to 17207, and are arranged in order of date of granting of adoption order, from 5/8/1971 to 21/8/1979.

    Information recorded includes applicant surname and residence, surname and sex of child, age of child at adoption, child's status prior to adoption - nuptial or ex-nuptial, date adoption order granted and judge and court where the adoption order was granted.

    Volume 3: [Series 292/1/3] Solicitors Adoptions Finalised Register August 1979 to December 1986.

    The register records adoptions arranged through solicitors, which were notified to the Department over the period August 1979 to December 1986.

    Entries are numbered from c.17000 to 23930. The register entries in the register are not consecutive, and are arranged by the date of granting of an adoption order, from August 1979 to December 1986.

    Information recorded includes file number, applicant name and residence, original name of adoptee, age and sex of adoptee, 'Type' of application using the five categories described above, age of adoptee at time of finalisation of adoption, details of granting of adoption order including date, court details and the judge granting the order.

    Volume 4: [Series 292/1/4] Solicitors Adoption Finalisation Register Nov 1984 to April 1990 (note: Relative/Spouse Cases at the rear of the Register)

    Entries are numbered from c.22766 to 25405. The entries are not consecutive, and are arranged by the date of granting of the adoption order, from November 1984 to April 1990.

    Information recorded includes file number, applicant name and residence, original name of adoptee, age and sex of adoptee, 'Type' of application using the five categories outlined above, Nuptial or Ex-nuptial, age of adoptee at time of finalisation of adoption, details of granting of adoption order including date, court details and the judge granting the order.

    There is a separate listing on loose pages which has been inserted at the end of the register, which records Relative / Spouse adoption cases to be heard under the Adoption Act 1984 but addressing issues of the Adoption Act 1964. This listing is undated, but from a review of the content the document would appear to date from 1989 or later.

    Volume 5: [Series 292/1/5/1] Solicitors Adoptions Monthly Statistics May 1989 (contents 1988-1990)

    Handwritten notes list individual adoption cases finalised by solicitors from 1987 through to 1989. The notes appear to have been used to compile statistics for an annual report on cases finalised during the year.

    The information recorded includes the surname of the adoptive applicant (adoptive parents), date of birth of the child, age of the child at the time of finalisation of the adoption, an indication of whether the case was finalised in the 87/88 year or the 88/89 year, the month and year of finalisation of the adoption (eg: 4/89). A small number of entries list a corresponding case file number.

    Volume 6: [Series 292/1/5/2] Solicitors Adoptions Finalization Register 1989-1990 (note: Relative/Spouse Adoption Consents listings at rear of Register)

    There are two listings contained within the handwritten soft cover exercise book.

    The first listing records Adoptions Finalised 1984,referring to adoptions which had been finalised under the provisions of the Adoptions Act 1984 during the years 1988-89 and 1989-90, and Adoptions Finalised 1964 which records adoptions finalised under the provisions of the Adoptions Act 1964 during the years 1988-89 and 1989-90.

    Information recorded for these cases includes: surname of applicant, the geographical Region within the Department which administered the application, and 'Reasons' for the applicant applying to adopt a child, with examples including ''Transitional care', where the child had been placed with the applicant on a temporary basis and the applicant decided to move to a permanent care arrangement.

    Statistics are complied to indicate the number of cases finalised under the regulations of the respective Adoption Acts of 1964 and 1984.

    A subsequent page titled 'Adoptions finalised 1990/91 outlines adoptions finalised in the 1990/91 year. Entries indicate which Adoption Act the adoption was finalised under.

    Information recorded: Name of applicant, Act [ie: application made under either the 1964 or 1989 Adoption Act], Region - address of applicant, date of finalisation of adoption, age and sex of child at the time off finalisation of adoption.

    The second sequence of information consists of two listings of Relative / Spouse Adoption Consents taken between May 1989 and May 1990, and a. The list records the surname of the child, the person from whom consent was taken [eg: mother or father], and the date the consent for adoption was obtained.

    Volume 7: [Series 292/1/6] Solicitors Cases 1966-1972 (cover also marked 'NWA [Non Ward Adoption] Dawson's Cases from Early 1966 to Early 1972 and Country Cases Also'; front page marked 'Country Cases and Solicitors Cases from 10 February 1966 to 20 March 1972') [Damage to spine requiring conservation attention].

    The register appears to document court orders for the granting of placement of children with a view to adoption.

    Entries are numbered in sequential order from 1 through to 2011, and are arranged in order of the date of granting of placement order, from 10/2/1966 to 16/3/1970.

    The second sequence listed in the volume records the progress or status of ex departmental non-ward adoption placements, from 1/7/1970 through to a placement date of 5/5/1971, entries numbered 1 through to 323. The numbering pattern then changes to commence at 6658, with a placement order granted on 12/5/1971, and this sequence continues through until June 1972 with entries up to 6972.

    Information recorded in this sequence varies over time but includes: Status [either Legitimate or Illegitimate], sex, age, type [numerical list from 1 to 5] County Court case number [consisting of a sequential number followed by the year, eg: 394/70], case number, date of registration of case, name of solicitor, surname of infant or child, name of applicants for placement of the child, name of guardian of the child [an officer of the Department, usually 'Dawson'], and a locality name [presumed to be the locality of residence of the applicants].

    Status key type: 1 = unrelated child, 2= grandparents, 3 = other relative, 4 = child born prior to marriage, 5 = child of previous marriage.

    There is a listing of 'Illegal Placements' at the back of the volume. This list records cases where the placement of the child was not formally granted through a court order. There entries are not dated but can traced through their case entries earlier in the register.

    Information recorded includes: case number. Surname of applicant with whom the child was place, child's name.

    Volume 8: [Series 292/1/7] CRE Relative / Spouse Applications Register 1989-1993

    It is not clear what the CRE acronym refers to.

    There is an alphabetical index at the front of the volume, arranged by name of applicant, and the folio entries appear following the index pages.

    Information recorded in the headings to alphabetical index includes: applicants name and locality of residence, folio page number for the applicants, name of child and folio page reference number for the child.

    Information recorded in volume entries includes: folio number, date application received, name and address of applicant, child name and date of birth, 'Outcome' of communication and consultation with solicitors, name of Region within the Department and the date on which the case was referred to the Region, Progress including notes regarding withdrawn applications, the date on which the application was lodged with the courts and the date on which the adoption was finalised.

    Entries range from folio numbered 1 adoption finalised 2/11/1989 through to entry number 137 received 29/10/1992.

    Volume 9: [Series 292/1/8] Country Solicitors Adoptions April 1977 to February 1980.

    The volume is arranged as an alphabetical index, by the name of the applicant.

    Information recorded includes the date of application, file number, applicant surname and locality of residence, court location, dates record either the date the application was lodged with the court or the date the Department is notified and recorded that the case is not proceeding to court.

    File numbers are five digit numbers largely in the range of 13909 to 17999.

    Volume 10: [Series 292/1/9] New Register: Country Solicitor Adoptions 23 August 1979 to March 1980.

    The volume is arranged as an alphabetical index, by the name of the applicant. The words 'New Register' is written on the front cover of the volume. There is an overlap in the dates between this volume and the previous volume. It is presumed that the entries from the previous register were re-written into this new register, and the new register continued to the used in place of the previous register. The reason for this is not clear. File numbers are five digit numbers estimated in the range of 15700 to 17999.

    Information recorded: date of application, name of applicant, region area of the Department administering the case, name of the social worker handing the case, court, key dates either extension of care order or date adoption application lodged with court or date of finalisation of adoption.

  • Recordkeeping System
    The registers do not have any original numbering system, as they are separate records brought together to form an artificial collection. The numbering system has been imposed on the volumes at the time of archiving as a control to the records.

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