Adoption and Forgotten Australians

Family history for adopted people, Forgotten Australians and child migrants

The Newspaper & Family History Reading Room and the Arts Reading Room are moving

From 24 August 2018 to 20 September the Newspaper and Family History Reading Room and the Arts Reading Room will be moving to beautiful new spaces. These moves are part of the Library's Vision 2020 redevelopment project.

During this time, most collection material, equipment and desks in these rooms will be unavailable. In many cases, alternative online or onsite access is available.

For more information, see our Courtyard closures guide.

Staff will not have access to resources in the reading rooms during these moves. Responses to research and collection inquiries may take longer than usual.

Subject librarian

Carmen Quick's picture
Carmen Quick
Librarian, Family History Team

State Library of Victoria

Contact me via our online reference service citing my name and title of the guide

Family history guides


Welcome to the State Library of Victoria's guide to Adoption and Forgotten Australians. This guide is a list of current and historical resources for researching the family history of adopted persons, Forgotten Australians and child migrants.

'Forgotten Australians' is a term the Australian Senate has used to describe children who were brought up in orphanages, children's homes, institutions or foster care in Australia during the 1920-1970 time period. For the purpose of this guide, resources for earlier and later periods are also listed.

This guide focuses primarily on Victoria but also includes a selection of resources for other Australian states, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Ireland. Use the tabs across the top of the page to learn more about what information can be found.
For information on locating living family members, please view the Library's Researching your Victorian ancestors guide.

[Melbourne Orphanage, Brighton, Vic.], H2001.20/7

State Library Victoria