Victorian Adoption Network for Information and Self Help.

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Would you like to particicpate in a research project?

'Finding a Way Home'

Janice Simpson, is a PhD student in the School of Media and Communications at RMIT University, Melbourne and she is interested in speaking to people about how place defines, influences and shapes adoptees' lives.

To find out more about the project and Janice herself, follow the links below. You can also contact Janice via email, 

Information Sheet 

Counselling services

Consent form for interview

Additional information re the researcher

Monash University History of Adoption Project

The national History of Adoption project, led by Marian Quartly (Monash University), with Denise Cuthbert (Monash University) and Shurlee Swain (Australian Catholic University), seeks to discover the distinctive ways in which adoption has reflected and shaped family ideals within Australian settler society.

The Monash University History of Adoption Project is significant as it enhances our understanding of adoption in a historical context. 

VANISH was delighted that Shurlee, who is a Chief Investigator of the Project Team, accepted our invitation to present an outline of her work to date at  the VANISH 2011 Annual General Meeting Shurlee’s presentation On Shifting Sands: Looking back over 150 years of formal and informal adoption in Australia was extremely interesting and informative. A more recent publication of Shurlee’s work “Snapshots from the Long History of Adoption in Australia” is available to download


Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) 

In June 2010, Commonwealth and State and Territory Community and Disability Services Ministers agreed to a joint national research study into past adoption practices to be conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) 

AIFS recently published the final report for this nationwide survey of 1,528 people who were affected by past adoption practices in Australia. Participants included 823 adopted individuals, 505 mothers, 94 adoptive parents, 9 other family members and 12 fathers, in addition to responses from 58 service providers. 

The authors reported that “most participants were adamant about the need to provide as much information as possible about their past experiences in order for us to adequately understand their current service and support needs”. 

The significance of the information provided by participants for this research, coupled with the Senate Enquiry into Forced Adoptions was recognised in the measures announced by the then Prime Minister Julia Gilliard at the National Apology for Forced Adoptions on March 21, 2013 at Parliament House, Canberra. 

A summary of the final report is available Executive Summary - Past adoption experiences National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices 

To read individual responses and the final report of this study which was released on 17 August 2012 go to 



PhD Study: What meaning do adopted women draw from their own experiences of parenting their own children?  

Over 60,000 [i] adoptions have occurred in Victoria since adoption legislation was introduced in 1928, and many adopted women are now mothers themselves. Very little is known about their experiences at this time of life and what impact their adoption may have on their motherhood experiences.

The aim of this study is to hear from women who have been adopted in Victoria and who still have children at home. Hearing their stories, ideas and reflections about motherhood and adoption, is a way of gaining more understanding, giving voice to their experiences and to more clearly determine their possible information and support needs at this time of life. 

Those interested in being part of the study would participate in an interview and complete a demographic questionnaire. Each interview will be audio recorded and participants will be sent a copy of the transcript for their information and comment. At the completion of the study a summary of the findings of the study will also be available to those who took part. All information will be non-identifiable. 

If you were unable to be part of the study interviews, because the study numbers had been filled and you would like to participate, there will be the option of being involved in a focus group to discuss the study findings. Three locations are available in Melbourne at which to meet, and alternative venues are negotiable for those who live in country Victoria or interstate. 

The research project is part of a PhD study being conducted by Jeanette Conrick at Monash University with Professor Thea Brown and Associate Professor Fiona McDermott from the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Australian Journal of Adoption Vol. 4 No.1 2 

If you would like to find out more about this study or participate in it, please contact Jeanette by mobile (0409256355) or email her at

 [i] legal adoptions, doesn't include de facto adoptions.