VANISH provides assistance to people with their search for relatives and provides support and guidance throughout the search and contact process.
VANISH Search Service
VANISH has a team of experienced search workers who provide confidential search services including:
- Information about your rights to information about your natural family - your mother, father, donor, adult child, sibling or other family member.
- Assistance with applying for adoption records, state wardship records, hospital records and other relevant documents.
- Help to search for a relative. We can do this on your behalf or we can guide you in your search if you prefer to do it yourself.
- Suggestions of how to make contact with a relative if you wish to, or how to register your contact preferences on the adoption information register in case someone looks for you.
- Support throughout your search and with the outcomes of your search. This can be with your own dedicated search and support worker or you can attend a support group (see below)
VANISH Support Services
VANISH provides professional and confidential support for people affected by adoption. Support is always offered with empathy and respect and can be accessed individually or in a group. We can assist you in person, by telephone, by email or by you attending a support group.
Some common concerns may be:
- discovering later in life that you are adopted
- deciding whether or not to do a search or to contact a relative
- finding out that the person you searched for is deceased
- not receiving a reply or not receiving the reply you hoped for
- managing emotions during a search, reunion and beyond
- relationship difficulties with family members
- confusion around identity whether you have searched or not
- anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addictions, PTSD and other mental health issues
Support is available to people whose adoption or separation from their child took place in Victoria, and to people affected by adoption in other states, territories, and overseas, including intercountry adopted people who now live in Victoria.
VANISH also provides support to Forgotten Australians/Care Leavers who were formerly in institutional care and adopted.
Our regular peer support group meetings are held in Melbourne and some regional locations.