Welcome to VANISH

Search and support for adults impacted by adoption and family separation


Search for


Get support or counselling

Explore our resources

Join our


VANISH is a not-for-profit organisation for adopted people, mothers, fathers, and other family members affected by past adoption practices.  

We provide a range of free and confidential services including information and support, assistance with search and reunion, specialist counselling, support groups, and creative workshops. 

VANISH is widely respected as a lived experience-led organisation and advocate. We continue to work towards a society that honours the best interests of the child and the right to genetic identity and connection.

Personal stories

My experience: A mother’s story

First came a friend request on Facebook. Just another 'I don't even know you' moment like so many others so I just ignored it. About a week later the postie was knocking on my door with a registered letter. My mind started racing, was this good news or bad? I looked...

Never say never: How I met my mother

I first found out I was adopted at about the age of 30, when Mum and Dad were compelled to tell me by circumstance. Hence, I didn’t feel I could pursue my original birth story until both had passed away. It was the mid-1990s when I found the good people at VANISH, who...

The Last Goodbye

This contribution came from a VANISH member (adoptee) who wanted to find a meaningful way to acknowledge the death of her mother. There are no recognised ceremonies or rituals in the adoption community to help us with our familial losses.  — The gathering was held in...

Mark’s Story

I was born in 1963 and adopted six weeks later.  At the age of six, I was told I was adopted and to me it didn’t really matter at the time as I was so young.  As I went through school and other kids found out I was adopted I suffered deep humiliation and embarrassment...

Latest news and events

Historical Forced Adoptions Redress Scheme

Historical Forced Adoptions Redress Scheme

The Victorian Government’s Forced Adoption Redress Scheme for Mothers opens today 1.2.2024 The Redress Design & Delivery team at the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS) will support mothers to apply. Mothers who gave birth in Victoria, or were a...

read more
VANISH Creative Expression Course for Mothers

VANISH Creative Expression Course for Mothers

We have now completed our Creative Expression for Mothers 6-week course with Michele Hutchins. We hope to run this course in 2024 subject to funding.  Michele is a highly skilled facilitator and we have received wonderful feedback from previous participants.  In this...

read more

Search Service

“I would like to thank you for your care and compassion in assisting me with my search.  Your professionalism and sincerity has made the difficult situation of learning about my mother’s short life and tragic death an easier process to deal with.”

Search Service

“I cannot imagine what my difficult search and reunion would have been like without Charlotte and the team from VANISH.”

About our staff

“I would just like to say thank you for all the kindness and support Tracey showed me yesterday. Her listening skills and understanding meant a lot to me.”

About our staff

“The staff were professional, caring and compassionate.”

About our staff

“I really found Patricia (my ‘case manager’) to be amazing and feel lucky to have had her on my journey.”

Support Groups

“Being around other people who understand your experience and can voice their own is just so incredibly powerful. I feel so very grateful to the VANISH adoptee support group.”


“Thank you for your ongoing high standard of service provision and advocacy on behalf of the adoption community – especially the adoptee community.”

Get in touch with our helpful team

Contact us to find out more about our services or have a chat about how we can best support you.