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Victoria - Organisation

Bethany Babies' Home (1928 - 1977)

  • Bethany Cookery Book, front cover

    Bethany Cookery Book, front cover, 1933, courtesy of State Library of New South Wales.
    Details

From
1928
To
1977
Categories
Adoption Agency, Babies' Home, Care Provider, Female Rescue Home, Home and Non-denominational
Alternative Names
  • Bethany (Child and Family Support) Inc (1978 - 1991)
  • Bethany Community Support Inc (2007 - )
  • Bethany Family Support Inc (1991 - 2007)
  • Bethany Home for Babies
  • Geelong Female Refuge (1868 - 1928)

Bethany Babies' Home was originally the Geelong Female Refuge when it was established in 1868. From 1928, the Refuge became known as Bethany Babies' Home. It accommodated pregnant women, babies and toddlers; it operated a maternity hospital and also adopted babies out. In 1977, it ceased to operate as a Home and became Bethany Community Support.

From 1977, all records relating to individuals, placements and adoptions at Bethany Babies' Home were transferred to the Victorian government.

Details

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.

Location

1928 - 1977
Location - Bethany Babies' Home was located on Ballarat Road, Geelong. Location: Geelong

Timeline

 1868 - 1928 Geelong Female Refuge
       1928 - 1977 Bethany Babies' Home
             1977 - Bethany Community Support

Related Archival Collections

Related Events

Related Glossary Terms

Publications

Books

  • Murray, Suellen, John Murphy, Elizabeth Branigan, Jenny Malone, After the orphanage: life beyond the children's home, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2009. Details
  • Swain, Shurlee, A refuge at Kildare: the history of the Geelong Female Refuge and Bethany Babies' Home, Bethany Child and Family Support, North Geelong, 1985. Details

Online Resources

Photos

Bethany Cookery Book, front cover
Title
Bethany Cookery Book, front cover
Type
Image
Date
1933
Source
State Library of New South Wales

Details

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Submission number 178', in Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices: submissions received by the Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2010-13/commcontribformerforcedadoption/submissions; James Jenkinson Consulting, Guide to out-of-home care services 1940-2000 - Volume One: Agency Descriptions, Department of Human Services, Unpublished, November 2001, https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/DHS.3004.011.0367.pdf.

Prepared by: Cate O'Neill