Victorian Adoption Network for Information and Self Help.

Serving the post-adoption community for over 25 years.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Q:   How do I apply for information about my adoption?

Contact Family Information Networks and Discovery (FIND) to make a formal application for information about your adoption.


Q:    I have just received my records from FIND, what do I do next?

You have the option of searching or not searching; if you would like to proceed with a search VANISH is happy to support you in this.  This does not oblige you to make contact with the person sought.


Q:    What does a VANISH service cost?

VANISH search and support services are free to those who were born and/or adopted in Victoria however donations are welcome.


Q:    What does VANISH do?

VANISH offers ongoing support to people separated from family of origin at birth and assistance with searching for their relative/s.


Q:    Who can come to VANISH?

Mothers and fathers separated from their children, adopted people including intercountry adopted people, Forgotten Australians and donor conceived people and their family members.          


Q:    What if I was born interstate or overseas or my family is overseas?

VANISH provides relevant information for overseas searching.


Q:    Who do you search for first?

It is your decision who you want to search for though most people start by looking for their mother or father; failing that they look for a sibling or closest living relative.


Q:    Are some people difficult to find?

Yes, and when we cannot find the person sought or if the person sought is deceased we endeavour to find a living family member.


Q:    Will I be able to meet my mother/father/child if I want to?

This will depend on their decision and your mutual agreement and we offer guidance on how to outreach for the best outcome.


Q:    Is there any obligation to meet with my mother/father/child?

Any decision to meet your relative will be entirely your own.  In Victoria adopted people may place a contact statement for five years if they wish, with an option of renewing it.  We suggest you take advice if you are considering this pathway.


Q:   What types of support do you provide? 

We have professional staff, some with an experience of separation and loss who provide telephone, personal, email support and support groups.


Q:    Do you facilitate support groups?

VANISH facilitates several support groups on a monthly basis.


Q:   Do you provide counselling?

VANISH refers to counsellors across Victoria and also provides limited counselling for people engaged in a search process.


Q:    How will I feel if I find my family?

Adoption is a unique personal experience.  Many people benefit from knowledge about their birth parents or their child.  Over time, most people are glad that they have all information available.  Because searching can be an emotionally challenging and sometimes distressing experience VANISH encourages support at this time.


Q:    Does VANISH have an Aboriginal service?

VANISH welcomes Aboriginal service users and suggests you may also like to contact Link-Up, Koorie Heritage Trust and Connecting Home that deliver specialised services to the Aboriginal community.


Q:    Does VANISH cater for multi-cultural families?

VANISH welcomes service usersof all ethnic backgrounds and will assist with engaging a translator and/or interpreter if required.


Q:    Is VANISH gay and lesbian friendly?

VANISH welcomes gay and lesbian service users, their partners and their families.


Q:    Is my information kept confidential?

VANISH ensures Search and Support Room files are secure. All VANISH staff members sign a confidentiality agreement and do not share information without your permission.


Q:    Am I able to access Medicare funding for counselling and what is it?

Talk to your General Practitioner about a Mental Health Care Plan and about the Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program and how you may be eligible.


Q:    Can I talk to you?

We would love to talk to you.  Please contact us at VANISH and ask to talk to a support worker.  Someone will ring you back as soon as possible.