The Adoption of Children Act 1920 made the first legal provision for adoption in Tasmania. There was no requirement for an assessment of the adoptive parent to be undertaken and guardianship of the child transferred directly from the birth parent to the adoptive parent. This practice changed with the passage of the Adoption of Children Act 1968.
The Adoption of Children Act 1920 was amended in 1943, 1945 and 1960.
The Report of the Joint Select Committee on Adoption and Related Services 1950-1988 made the following comment about the Act:
'Prior to the 1968 legislation people who wished to adopt a child in Tasmania could register with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. On the making of an adoption order, the adoptive parents received a copy of that order on which would be found the child's original surname and Christian name, if s/he had been given one. Prospective adoptive parents were not subject to any assessment, often there was virtually no waiting time before they received a child and there was no follow up once the adoption was completed.'