Forced Adoptions Support Service

You can access the Forced Adoptions Support Service at Wattle Place if you are:

  • a mother who’s child was taken through forced adoption
  • a person removed through forced adoption
  • a father who’s child was taken through forced adoption
  • a close family member of one of the above.

It was common practice in the past to remove newborn babies from mothers who “society” deemed to be unfit parents.  For instance, babies of unwed mothers were taken at birth and given to childless married couples, sometimes without consent of the mother. In other cases, unethical, dishonest, even illegal, methods were used to obtain consent under duress, deception, manipulation or coercion.

The separation experience at birth for a mother and her baby was often profoundly traumatic for both of them.

Forced adoptions affected people in many different ways. We acknowledge the trauma and continuing impacts of forced adoptions on so many of those affected.

Find out more about the history of forced adoptions.

Please see below for the list of services we provide.

Contact us

Freecall          1800 21 03 13 (from within NSW)
Phone             (02) 9687 3636 (from outside NSW)
Online             Enquire online


The Forced Adoption Support Service is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

How we help

Theraputic casework, emotional support and advocacy,

Subsidised private counselling

Counselling might not be something you have ever considered, but it can be useful in many different ways. For example, a counsellor might provide moral support through a current challenge you are facing, a counsellor might give you practical strategies to use if you feel overwhelmed, or you might be ready to tell someone, for the very first time, about your experience of adoption. Wattle Place can help with access to a counsellor if you choose to have counselling.

How we help

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Assistance and support to access personal and adoption records

The Forced Adoption Support Service applies on your behalf to Government agencies and former adoption agencies for identification documents and records of the adoption. Finding these records can be incredibly significant, but can have both positive and negative impacts. We not only help to find records but also provide support, when needed, to deal with those impacts. We obtain all records at no cost to you.

Please note that the Forced Adoption Support Service does not hold adoption records and did not participate in past adoption practices. Our role is to help you find and access that information through the relevant institutions and government departments.

Assistance and support with family tracing

The Forced Adoption Support Service can apply on your behalf for records relating to your family history. Finding out information about your family can help to fill in gaps about your identity and origins.

Assistance with family reunion and support through these processes

If you choose, we can try to locate family members and, if possible, attempt to reconnect with them. This process can be extremely emotional for all involved and has potential to be either very positive or very negative. We facilitate connection safely and sensitively for all involved, and support you throughout the process, regardless of the outcome.

Small Grants program

We provide funding through rounds for the Small Grants Program, for eligible projects not offered by the Forced Adoption Support Service that enhance peer connection for, share information with, or in some other ways benefit, people impacted by past forced adoptions.

For further  information, templates, eligibility details and forms, click here

Assistance to connect with support groups and networks of others with shared experiences

Some people will benefit from regular contact with others who have similar experiences and really understand what you are going through. If you would like to join a group or network, we can help you find one.

Assistance with information and referrals to other services

Your caseworker can work with you and support you to set and achieve certain goals, face certain challenges, develop strategies and connect with people or services who are best placed to assist you.

Quarterly Newsletter

We post out a newsletter four times per year to keep you informed about important news and information from the Forced Adoption Support Service and other issues relevant to people impacted by forced adoptions.

Read past newsletters from the Forced Adoption Support Service here

Read the booklet

About the booklet

We produced this booklet for people impacted by forced adoptions to understand how we can assist them, and to understand they are not alone. The booklet also summarises the past experiences and continuing impacts of forced adoptions, for service providers, family members and others to better understand.

Read online