The Adoption Information Act 1990 (63/1990) was 'An Act to allow greater access to information relating to adoptions'. It was an important piece of legislation that reversed much of the secrecy relating to adoptions. This act improved the rights of all people involved in adoption to access information and created registers so adoptees and relinquishing parents could express interest in contact, or veto contact. It was amended in 1995 to establish a Reunion and Information Register. It was repealed in 2003 by the Adoption Act 2000.
Speaking in Parliament, the then Minister for Family and Community Services described the Act was intended to correct the problem of 'genealogical bewilderment'. Many people, he said, 'would argue that without knowledge of your origins, you cannot truly know who you are'.
The provisions of the Act only came into effect when adoptees reached the age of 18. The Act was not intended to reduce the rights of adoptive parents to control the information their children received during their childhood.
After this Act was Amended in 1995 a Reunion and Information Register was created to facilitate reunions between adopted persons, birth parents and other persons (if desired by the persons concerned). The Post-Adoption Resource Centre was created by the Benevolent Society to assist adoptees and birth parents find each other.
This Act was repealed by the Adoption Act 2000, which came into effect in 2003.
1990 - 2003 Adoption Information Act 1990
2000 - Adoption Act 2000
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Report 69 (1992) - Review of the Adoption of Children Act 1990: Summary Report', in NSW Law Reform Commission, Law Reform Commission New South Wales, 1992, http://www.lawreform.justice.nsw.gov.au/Documents/Publications/Reports/Report-69-outline.pdf.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry and Liam Hogan
Created: 13 March 2012, Last modified: 1 February 2018