Adopting a child
The Department of Justice and Community Service (DJCS) can arrange adoptions in Victoria. It can also provide options counselling to people considering adoption.
If you want to adopt a child, visit DJCS Adoptions page .
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:
- The Adoption Information Service
- Eligible people affected by adoption.
Learn more about accessing adoption related information.
Integrated birth certificates
An integrated birth certificate is a certificate that includes information about an adopted person’s:
- natural parents (where records are available), and
- adoptive parents.
From Thursday 5 October, an adopted person will be able to apply for an integrated birth certificate if they:
- Are aged 18 years or over, and
- Were born in and had their adoption registered in Victoria.
An integrated birth certificate will be free for the first time we issue it. For subsequent applications you must pay the certificate fee.
Integrated birth certificates were a recommendation of the Inquiry into responses to historical forced adoption in Victoria (External link) .
Learn more about the implementation of the Victorian Government's response to historical forced adoption (External link) .
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 to their legal birth certificates as non-adopted people.
Get a free replacement of a Sixth Schedule certificate
Before 1987, the legal 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 legal birth certificate. There is no fee for this service.
You will need to return the original Sixth Schedule certificate.
To get a free replacement:
- Apply to Get a birth certificate
- At the payment stage, choose BPAY. You don’t need to pay, but the system will give you a reference number
- Once you've submitted your application, contact us and explain your situation
- Post your original Sixth Schedule certificate back to us.
(There may be other things you need to do. When you contact us, we will let you know.)
Get an adopted person’s pre-adoption birth certificate
A person’s pre-adoption birth certificate is not their legal birth certificate. It can’t be used to establish their legal identity.
Adopted people and some eligible people can access the pre-adoption birth certificate. To apply, go to the DJCS Past Adoptions page .
The adopted person’s original birth certificate will be stamped 'adopted'.
Learn more about the history of adoptions in Victoria.
Get adoption information
You must apply through the Adoption Information Service if you want to get:
- An adopted person’s original birth certificate
- Other adoption related information.
Learn more about accessing adoption-related information.