Forced Adoption Support Services for people affected by past forced adoption policies and practices

Forced Adoption Support Services

To contact the Forced Adoption Support Service in your state or territory, call 1800 21 03 13

Providers of support services funded by the Australian Government

The Department of Social Services (DSS) funds seven organisations to provide coordinated specialist support services across Australia for people affected by past forced adoption policies and practices. The funded Forced Adoption Support Services organisations are listed in the table below.

STATE ORGANISATION LOCATIONS
NSW and ACT Relationships Australia
(NSW)

Sydney, NSW and Canberra, ACT with state/territory-wide
phone services

NT Relationships Australia,
Northern Territory Inc
Darwin, NT with territory-wide
phone service
QLD Jigsaw Queensland Inc Brisbane, QLD with state-wide
phone service
SA Relationships Australia
(SA) Inc
Adelaide, SA with state-wide
phone service
TAS Relationships Australia
Tasmania Incorporated
Hobart, TAS with state-wide
phone service
VIC Relationships Australia
(Victoria) Inc
Ballarat, VIC with
state-wide phone service
WA Relationships Australia
(Western Australia) Inc
Perth, WA with state-wide
phone service

These organisations deliver specialist support to people affected by forced adoptions through:

  • a national helpline: 1800 21 03 13 (which represents the date of the National Apology for Forced Adoptions) - calls made from a mobile phone may incur additional costs. The helpline is answered locally and available weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm
  • referrals and information based on individual needs
  • where possible, face to face support, casework, counselling, records tracing, reunion mediation, and
  • administering small grants to build sector capacity and enhance group healing activities to support people affected by forced adoptions, where appropriate/possible.

The services complement existing supports provided by the state and territory governments.

You can search the DSS Grants Service Directory for information on services as grants and funding becomes available.

Additional support services

The organisations listed below are provided for information only. It is up to each individual to identify the services that are most appropriate to their needs.

General counselling

Below is a list of organisations who may be able to assist with general counselling. This list is not exhaustive.

Mental Health Services

People affected by forced adoptions with a diagnosed mental disorder can access mental health services through PHNs or Medicare subsidised services under the Better Access initiative.

From 1 July 2015, following implementation of the Australian Government’s mental health reforms, funding for a number of mental health programs, including the former Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program is now provided to PHNs to lead mental health and suicide prevention planning at a regional level.

Through a new flexible primary mental health care funding pool, PHNs improve outcomes for people with or at risk of mental illness and/or suicide, in partnership with relevant services.

Contact details for all PHNs can be found using the PHN map locator.

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

Northern Territory

Queensland

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

Indigenous agencies

Link-Up Services help Indigenous Australians separated from their families. National contacts are available through the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website or by calling 1800 624 332

Find and Connect

The Australian Government has set up a national network of Find and Connect support services to assist Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants, including:

  • specialist trauma informed counselling
  • referral services
  • peer, education and social support programs
  • assistance to locate and access records and reconnect with family members (where possible).

Those who may identify as Forgotten Australians spent their childhood or periods of time as children in children's homes, orphanages and other forms of out-of-home “care” in the last century (up until the end of 1989). Former Child Migrants arrived in Australia through historical child migration schemes (up until 1970) and were also subsequently placed in homes and orphanages.

International

International Social Service Australia provides a post-adoption and general family tracing and reunification service, for those who wish to locate an immediate family member who is thought to be in another country – 1300 657 843

Fact Sheet

This fact sheet - Supporting people affected by forced adoptions - was developed so that service providers assisting people affected by forced adoption have an understanding of the issues and an awareness of particular sensitivities.

More Information

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