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The term Adoption Agency refers to any organisation involved in the adoption of babies and children, whether this was mandated by legislation or not. The adoption of children was, and is, controlled by state laws and the states of Australia introduced their first adoption acts at different times, beginning with Western Australia in 1896. Prior to the existence of legislation which legally recognised adoption, 'de facto', 'private' or 'unofficial' adoptions took place. These adoptions were arranged by individuals (such as midwives, or solicitors), by organisations (such as religious or charitable agencies), as well as by government departments.
The term Adoption Information Service refers to a program established under state or territory adoption legislation to provide access to information to the parties involved in an adoption (i.e. the birth parent/s, the adoptee, the adoptive parents).
An Advocacy Body is a group formed by people who share concerns around a particular issue, in this case child welfare, and who seek to raise the priority of their concerns on the public and/or government agendas.