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Aboriginal Family History: Adoption and fostering of children

The State Library of South Australia holds a wide cross section of information about South Australia and its people, some of which relates to Aboriginal people, but specific information regarding families can sometimes require broad research.

This is a select list of publications held in the State Library's Family History Collection, which provide information about adoption and fostering of children in South Australia. In 1988, the Adoption Act was changed to give adopted people and birth-parents the rights to obtain or deny identifying information. Details of organisations which may be able to provide assistance are also given.

Government organisations

Adoption - Department for Child Protection
Once an adopted person is 18 years of age or over, an application for provision of adoption information can be made on the Provision of adoption information form (PDF, 187.6 KB) or in writing, specifying that the request is made pursuant to the Adoption Act 1988.

You will need to send your completed form and any additional documents to:

The FOI Team
Department for Child Protection
GPO Box 1072
Adelaide SA 5001

You can also email the department at

Read more about the process on their website.

State Records of South Australia

Gepps Cross research centre: 115 Cavan Road Gepps Cross SA 5094

Ph: 08 7322 7077
Records held include State Children's Department, Destitute Person's Department and Social Welfare Department.

Find and Connect South Australia - Elm Place
151 South Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Ph: (08) 8419 2042 or 1800 16 11 09 (free call) 

The website can help you locate and get access to your own personal records which may be kept by government departments or past providers of 'care'. There are no personal records or private information published on the site.

Non-government organisations

PASS Post Adoption Support Services (Relationships Australia)
Provides counselling, information and support, assistance with family search and reunion, and links to other supports and networks