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Implementation of the Victorian Government’s response

In March 2022, the Victorian Government formally responded (External link) to the Inquiry into responses to historical forced adoption in Victoria (External link) (the Inquiry).

Summary of the response

The Victorian Government supported 33 of the 56 recommendations made by the Legal and Social Issues Committee. The other 23 recommendations were subject to further consideration.

The recommendations cover the following themes:

  • acknowledging and raising awareness about the impacts of forced adoption, and the experiences of people affected
  • considering, designing, and modelling options for redress and remedy
  • increasing accountability and improving services through clear information, reporting, products, record keeping, and service pathways
  • reviewing and providing post-adoption services that provide effective support
  • reviewing and updating practices, legislation, and policies related to adoption to ensure past practices never repeat, and
  • encouraging organisations involved in past forced adoption practices to offer apologies and support to those affected.

Implementation progress update

In response to the Inquiry, the Victorian Government invested more than $4 million. This included a plan to design and establish Australia’s first redress scheme for mothers who were forcibly separated from their babies under historical forced adoption policies and practices.

Work to develop a redress scheme continues alongside work to improve the availability of adoption information and identity documents. This includes integrated birth certificates which will be available from Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria from Thursday 5 October 2023.

The Government will continue to engage with stakeholders to implement remaining recommendations.

This page will be updated with key announcements throughout the Forced Adoption Inquiry Implementation process.

Forced Adoption Exceptional Circumstances Fund

The Forced Adoption Exceptional Circumstances Fund closed on Friday 23 June 2023. New applications are no longer being accepted.

Set up in July 2022, the Forced Adoption Exceptional Circumstances Fund provided one-off discretionary payments to mothers affected by forced adoption policies and practices in Victoria prior to 1985 who are experiencing exceptional circumstances. This includes:

  • terminal illness
  • critical illness
  • other exceptional circumstances.

Existing applications

If you have recently submitted your application and it has been acknowledged by the department for processing, it will be finalised. If you are unsure or would like to check the status of your application, please email (External link)

Historical forced adoption redress scheme

A historical forced adoption redress scheme is being developed for mothers who were forcibly separated from their babies. This is in response to recommendation 18 of the Inquiry.

Consultation on the redress scheme has commenced, including surveys with mothers and advocacy groups. This feedback will ensure the scheme developed provides meaningful acknowledgement and support to those impacted.

The Inquiry acknowledged harm was also caused to adopted people, fathers, subsequent children, and other family members.

The government will be considering options to research redress for other cohorts, including people who were forcibly adopted. This is in line with recommendation 22 of the Inquiry.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions on the implementation of the Victorian Government’s response, please email the Forced Adoptions Inquiry Implementation team at (External link)


If you or someone you know has been affected by forced adoption, we encourage you to use these resources to find the support and assistance you need.


Phone: 03 9328 8611 or 1300 826 474
Email: (External link)

Relationships Australia Victoria

Phone: 1800 21 03 13
Email: (External link)


Phone: 03 9287 8800
Email: (External link)

Further support for people affected by forced adoption is available.

Adoptions Origins Vic

Phone: 0411 587 961
Email: (External link)


Phone: 0400 701 621
Email: (External link)

Independent Regional Mothers

Phone: 0409711627
Email: (External link)

Adoption Information Service

Contact the Adoption Information Service for information or support in accessing records.

Phone: 03 8608 5700 (local call cost) and request a call back.

Email: (External link)