Adopting a child
Only the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) or an approved adoption agency can arrange adoptions in Victoria.
If you want to adopt a child, visit DHHS’s Adoption page .
The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) cannot arrange adoptions.
BDM’s role in adoptions
Under the Adoption Act 1984 BDM can:
- Register adoptions
- Issue birth certificates for adopted people
- Provide information about adoptions to:
- Adoption Information Services
- Eligible people affected by adoption.
Learn more about accessing adoption related information.
Get an adopted person’s legal birth certificate
The ‘legal’ birth certificate means the post-adoption certificate. It shows the adoptive parents as the parents of the child.
Adopted people have the same access as non-adopted people to their legal birth certificates.
Get a free replacement of a Sixth Schedule certificate
Before 1987, the birth certificate of an adopted person was known as a “Sixth Schedule”
Sixth Schedules show less information than current birth certificates. If you have a Sixth Schedule certificate we can replace it with a full birth certificate. There is no fee for this service.
To get a free replacement, go to Get a birth certificate. You will need to return the original Sixth Schedule certificate.
Learn more about the history of adoptions in Victoria.
Get adoption information
To get an adopted person’s original birth certificate, or other adoption related information, you must apply through an Adoption Information Service. Learn more about accessing adoption-related information.
Please note that the adopted person’s original birth certificate will be stamped ‘adopted’.