Bethany Babies' Home was originally the Geelong Female Refuge when it was established in 1868. It subsequently provided accommodation for single pregnant women and 'care' for babies unable to stay with their families.
In 1928, the Refuge began to operate primarily as a babies' home. It was at this point that it became known as Bethany Babies' Home. As well as caring for babies and toddlers, Bethany operated as a maternity hospital and accommodated pregnant women. It also operated as a mothercraft training school. Bethany also became an adoption agency with the passing of the Adoption Act 1928.
By the late 1950s, Bethany was providing residential care for unmarried mothers, and residential care for children up to the age of four - comprising wards of state, Infant Life Protection placements and private placements.
Bethany Babies' Home ceased to operate in 1977 and became Bethany Community Support, a child and family welfare agency. From that time, all records relating to individuals, placements and adoptions from Bethany Babies' Home were transferred to the Victorian government.
11 February 2019
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/vic/E000279
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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