Western Australian Holdings

  1. Adoption Acts, Parliamentary Debates
  2. State Archives
    1. State Library
      • Issues papers, submissions, select committee reports
    2. State Records Office of Western Australia
      • Agencies
    3. State Library
      • Collections
      • Oral Histories
      • Video
      • Printed primary sources
      • Pamphlets, newsletters, annual reports
      • Newspaper and magazine articles
      • Secondary sources
      • First person writing
      • Books, papers, theses
  3. Adoption services providers
  4. Support services
  5. Holdings at University of Western Australia

Adoption Acts – Western Australia

On the whole, legislation in Western Australia has become more transparent, while at the same time has lost some of its flexibility.

Adoption of Children Act, 1896 – 1981 (ACA 1896)

Little comment recorded in: 
Parliamentary Debates, Vol. IX, 1896.
1st reading 14th July 1896 (p.44)
Bill passed 20 September 1896 (p.465)
It was believed that people were abandoning young children to carers; then trying to reclaim them when they were of an age to earn money.

Adoption of Children Amendment Act, 1985 (ACAA 1985)

Adoption Act 1994
An Act to make provision for the adoption of persons and for the parties to adoptions and their relatives to have access to information about the parties, to repeal the Adoption of Children Act 1986, and for related purposes.

The Adoption Rules 1995
Adoption Regulations 1995

A review of the Adoption Act 1994 will begin in 2006, possibly leading to amendments to the Act by approximately 2009.

Significant Changes in the Western Australian Adoption of Children Act 1896 Concerning Disclosures of Information and Change of Name
(Taken from A New Approach to Adoption: Final report, 1991)

Original Act did not specifically provide for any secrecy of records. Adopted children retained their original names and simply added the adoptive parents surnames, thus creating ‘double barrelled’ surnames
Major amendment to introduce secrecy. Adopting parents objected to child retaining original surname. Amendment meant that adopted child assumed the adoptive parents surname but kept his/her original first (Christian) names. Adoption records only open to inspection with permission of the Master of the Supreme Court
Legislation to amend Adoption Act to prevent adopted child from obtaining original birth certificate. Up until then a new registration was not made on adoption – apparently a notation of the adoption was just made on the original birth entry. Hence on applying for a birth certificate adopted children might suddenly realise that they were not the children of those who adopted them, and whom they had always regarded as their parents.
Amendment to prevent persons born in WA, but adopted in another state, from obtaining their original birth certificate (and hence details of their “natural” parents). Reciprocal arrangements made with other States and Territories to have original birth record closed on granting of an adoption in any state.
  1. Requirement of original Act that children 12 years and over consent to their own adoption amended so that consent could be dispensed with in special circumstances – the fact that a child was not aware of its adoptive status was specifically mentioned as an example of “special circumstances”.
  2. Provision made to allow complete change of name of adopted persons     name on adoption. Prior to this only the surname was changed by adoption although it was possible for the first names to be changed through use of the Change of Name regulations.
  3. Original Birth Registration automatically changed on adoption – a copy of the Order automatically sent to the Registrar-General for this purpose. Prior to 1949 the original birth registration was only altered if application was made by the adoptive parents on their initiative. Registrar-General’s Record specifically stated to be not available to the general public.
Amendment allowing registration of the birth of a child adopted in WA but born elsewhere. Up until then such a child could only obtain a birth certificate from its country of birth, and if that country did not have reciprocal arrangements with WA (as per 1945 amendment), that birth certificate would be in the child’s original name – not the adoptive name. An adopted child to whom the above applied could therefore find its original name and the fact (where applicable) that he/she was adopted.
New Adoption of Children Rules amended the form 14 “Application for Order of Adoption” so that the details of the relinquishing parents were not included. Before that the forms that ALL adoptive parents signed had this information included although it was often “covered up” or left until after the adoptive parents signed.
Only adoptive parents who adopted privately could routinely become aware of the relinquishing parent’s name and address.
Amendment to allow child over 12 or over to retain original surname on          adoption if he/she desires this and the Judge considers it to be in the    child’s interest.
An adult adopted person may apply in writing for an extract of a certified copy of their original birth entry, provided that person has attended a counselling session with an approved counsellor and there is no entry on the Adoption Contact Register to the effect that the birth parent(s) does not wish to have contact with that person.
Adoption Act 1994 Principles: 

  1. The paramount considerations to be taken into account in the administration of this Act are:
    1. the welfare and best interests of a child who is an adoptee or a prospective adoptee;
    2. the principle that adoption is a service for a child who is an adoptee or a prospective adoptee; and
    3. the adoption of a child should occur only in circumstances where there is no other appropriate alternative for the child.
  2. It is acknowledged that adoption is not part of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island culture and that therefore the adoption of a child who is an Aboriginal person or a Torres Strait Islander should occur only in circumstances where there is no other appropriate alternative for that child.

Open adoption means that the three main parties to an adoption; the child, the birth parents and adoptive parents are aware of each other’s identity.

Changes to Information Vetoes for adoptions that occurred in the past
(Department for Community Development website)
In the past, access to identifying information about the people involved in an adoption was able to be restricted, through the lodgement of information vetoes, which could be lodged by birth parents, the adoptive parents or the adoptee. As a result of ‘open adoption’ where identifying information is given to all parties, changes have been made regarding vetoes.
From June 1 2005 the effects of Information Vetoes ceased. Contact Vetoes are to continue.

State Archives

State Library of Western Australia

  • Alexander Library Building
  • Perth Cultural Centre
  • Perth WA 6000
  • Phone: 08 9427 3111
  • Fax: 08 9427 3256
  • Email: info@liswa.wa.gov.au

The J S Battye Library is part of the State Library. It specifically collects material relating to Western Australia’s history. A large percentage of the documents listed below must be retrieved by library staff from the library “Stack”. If the call number only is given below, the document is easily available.

Issues Papers, Submissions, Select Committee Reports

(In chronological order)

A System of Review and Planning for Children in Limbo: Report to the Hon. Minister for Community/Backlog Procedures Committee
Western Australia Backlog   Procedures Committee, Department for Community Welfare, 1982.
Q362.73 WES
Submission to the Minister for Youth and Community Services, WA Parliament Regarding Proposed Changes to the Adoption of Children Act and Adoption Practice,
Submitted by the Association of Relinquishing Mothers (WA Branch),
6 June 1983.
Q346.9410178 ASS,
3rd Floor, Stack, Ask staff
Report of the Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly Appointed to Enquire into the Adoption of Children Amendment Bill, 1984.
Presented by Mr Michael Barnett MLA, Thursday 11 October 1984
Q346.941078 WES
38 Written submissions received from:
Family Law Practitioners Association of WA
Australian Family Association
Catholic Social Welfare Commission
Pregnancy help (centre care)
Ngala Mothercraft Home and training Centre
Director of the Department for Community welfare
Association of Relinquishing Mothers
Concern for the Infertile Couple
Australian Medical Association (WA)
Department of Psychology (UWA)
Dr A.G.B O’Neil
Dr B. Buttsworth
(Plus 26 other submissions which are to remain anonymous)
10 oral submissions from:
Mr B.A. Peachey – Australian Family Association
Mrs Blackburn – Adoption Jigsaw
Mrs C.C. Shoenmakers – Pregnancy Help
Mrs E.S. Moulds – Association of Relinquishing Mothers
Dr A.G.B. O’Neil
Dr B. Buttsworth
(Plus 4 other submissions which are to remain anonymous)
Backlog Procedures Committee Report/Response and questions from Adoption       Jigsaw WA Inc, 1987?
Q362.73 ADO
3rd Floor, Stack, Ask Staff
The Adoption Triangle: A Question of Balance: Issues Paper,
Prepared by the Adoption Legislative Review Committee, 1989
Q346.9410178 ADO
Chairperson Ms Liza Newby
Mr John Booth
Ms Rosemary Cant
Ms Daphne Cross
Ms Margaret van Keppel
Ms Farley O’Dea
Ms Jackie Watkins
A New Approach to Adoption: Draft Report
Prepared by the Adoption Legislative Review Committee, Perth, March 1990.
Q346.9410178 WES
Very useful discussion of issues
A New Approach to Adoption: Final Report
Prepared by the Adoption Legislative Review Committee, Perth, February, 1991.
Q346.9410178 WES
A New Approach to Adoption: Summary and Recommendations
Prepared by the Adoption Legislative Review Committee, Perth, February, 1991.
Q346.9410178 WES
Adoption Legislative Review: Adoption Act (1994): Issues paper
Prepared by the Adoption Legislative Review Committee (Family and        Children’s Services), Perth, May, 1997.
Q346.941078 WES.
A review of the 1994 legislation. Was prepared to assist those wishing to make a submission to the Committee. It outlines the major features of the Adoption Act 1994 and gives an overview of the major provisions of the Act and the implications for people affected by adoption. [Various interest groups had insisted on the review clause].
Adoption Legislative Review: Adoption Act (1994): Final Report
Prepared by the Adoption Legislative Review Committee, Perth, November, 1997.
Q346.941078 WES

State Records Office of Western Australia (SROWA)

  • Alexander Library Building
  • James St West Entrance
  • Perth Cultural Centre
  • Perth WA 6000
  • Phone: 08 9427 3360
  • Fax:     08 9427 3368
  • Email: sro@sro.wa.gov.au
  • http://www.sro.wa.gov.au

The State Records Commission of WA has ultimate responsibility for the records and can override government departments in regard to access decisions.

Department for Community Development (2) 1 July 2001

Preceding agencies
State Children’s Department 1 January 1917 – 22 December 1927
Child Welfare Department 22 December 1927 – 15 June 1972
Department for Community Welfare 16 June 1972 – 1 January 1985
Public Charities and State Children’s Department 1 January 1908 – 1 January 1917
Department for Community Development (1) 1 October 1992 – 1 July 1995
Department for Family and Children’s Services 1 July 1995 – 1 July 2001

Adoption Indexes

Start date
1 January 1908
End date
31 December 1966
Series description
Adoption Indexes used by the Child Welfare Department (and preceding agencies). They are an alphabetical listing of birth names of adopted children – and in some cases, adopting parents – who were registered by the Department. The indexes provide references to either a page number in the Department’s adoption registers, or else to a Child Welfare file. The Department of Community Development also maintains a series of adoption cards which the indexes refer to.
The Adoption Indexes remain in the custody of the Department of Community Development. Access is through Colin Keogh (see below Adoption Organisations). Mr Keogh has indicated that to apply for access to information the History of Adoption Project would need to apply to the Adoption Services Office, Department for Community Development, setting out the parameters of the project, the funding and the personnel involved. The request for access would be assessed by the Research Committee and there would need to be written agreements regarding the use of data. At this time Mr Keogh believes the Department would agree to access to administrative records, but not family files.

Department of Indigenous Affairs 1 July 2001

Preceding agencies
Aboriginal Affairs Department 1 November 1994 – 1 July 2001
Department of Native Affairs 1 January 1936 – 31 December 1954
Department of Native welfare 1 January 1955 – 1 January 1972
Aboriginal Affairs Planning Department 1 January 1972 – 1 November 1994
Aborigines Department (2) 1 January 1926 – 1 January 1936
Department of the North West (1) 1 January 1920 – 1 January 1926
Fisheries Department (2) 1 January 1920 – 1 September 1964
Department of Aborigines and Fisheries 1 January 1909 – 1 January 1920
Aborigines Department (1) 1 April 1898 – 1 January 1909
Aborigines Protection Board 1 January 1886 – 1 April 1898

Many reports, correspondence and other records which may relate to adoption of Aboriginal children, or to the stolen generation. Many records are on open access.

State Library

All to be used only in the Researchers Room, Level 4, State Library of WA.

  • Adoption Jigsaw WA Records 1898-1984
  • MN 1227 (Catalogue reference – details all listings) Papers donated by Mrs Margaret Blackburn (Jigsaw WA President) 1987. Many are undated.
  • The following is a sample of the collection:
  • 3812A/1
  • Legislative Assembly, 7 December 1983
  • Adoption of Children Act: Amendment Bill, Second Reading.
  • Explores many aspects of adoption. A Select Committee of Inquiry to be established into the whole issue of adoption policy. To report 13 March 1984.
  • 3821A/2
  • Second Reading Speech (Adoption of Children Act: Amendment Bill)
  • Discussion of private adoptions in WA. Definition of the organisations which are able to arrange adoptions. Private adoption agencies have to be approved by the Minister for a period of 12 months at a time.
  • 3821A/3
  • Constitution of Jigsaw. By-laws.
  • 3821A/4
  • Report on the First National Jigsaw Conference, Melbourne, 1980.
  • 3821A/5
  • Personal report on the Conference, Margaret Blackburn.
  • 3812A/6
  • Western Australian Jigsaw’s particular aims.
  • 3812A/14
  • Handwritten notes summarising all references to adoption in Hansard, 20 September 1921 to 4 September 1980. 29 foolscap pages. Very useful.
  • 3812A/19-37
  • Talks by Margaret Blackburn, mostly undated, early 1980s.
  • What is Jigsaw and why was it formed?
  • How adoption affects all parties involved.
  • Alternatives to adoption.
  • World history of adoption.
  • WA’s history of adoption – and results of research by Margaret van Keppel (M Psych UWA) on the effects on relinquishing mothers.
  • Contact Register
  • Differences between adoption, fostering and wards of state.
  • Miscellaneous collections
  • All consist of A4 envelopes containing small collections of ephemera.
  • Collection PR 13492/2
  • WA Relinquishing Mothers Association
  • Information sheet – aims and activities of the Association. Notices of meetings and seminars (1983). Copies of newspaper articles
  • Collection PR 13130/1-
  • Adoption Research and Counselling Service (ARCS)
  • Brochures explaining aims of organisation
  • No dates
  • Collection PR 12925/1-
  • Australia for Children Society
  • Brochure describing overseas adoptions
  • No dates
  • Collection PR 10966/1-
  • Jigsaw WA
  • Brochures. Aims (1988)
  • Letter from Glennis Rees (Jigsaw) to Adoptive Parents Association, threatening legal action against Maureen Roberts and Trudy Rosenthal Trudy regarding articles and claims made in the APA newsletter.
  • A similar letter addressed to the Adoptive Parents Association newsletter.
  • Collection PR 11964/1
  • WA Committee on Adoption
  • Seminar papers (outline of seminars) 1985:
  • “An organisation consisting of representatives from each of the self-help voluntary and professional organisations involved with all aspects of adoption.”
  • Collection PR 11429/1-
  • Adoption Resource Centre
  • Child Health Services
  • Rheola St, West Perth
  • “The Centre offers an Information Service on all aspects of adoption”
  • No dates

Oral histories

  • Grant, Beryl, 1921 –
  • OH 2795         3rd Floor, Battye Library.
  • A/r       3 hrs (3×60 min tapes)             Ask staff
  • T/r        50 leaves                                 Ask staff
  • Open research. Publication requires written permission of Beryl Grant
  • Interviewed by Helen Charlesworth, May 1997
  • Ms Grant was matron of Ngala from its opening in 1959 to her retirement in 1980. In the interview she talks about her own life and career but offers insight into the management of Ngala where unmarried girls awaited the births of their babies (at King Edward Memorial Hospital). Ngala arranged adoptions through its relationship with the Child Welfare Department.  Adoptive parents could live in at the centre with their new babies. Awarded a Churchill Fellowship, she studied cross-cultural adoptions, fostering and single mothers in other countries.
  • Ms Grant is probably available for interview by the Adoption Project. Ngala passed on a request.
  • Kirk, Winifred Ailsa, 1919 –
  • OH 2631/6      3rd Floor, Battye Library
  • A/r       1 hr 55 min (2×60 min tapes)  Ask staff
  • T/r        46 leaves                                 Ask staff
  • Open research. Publication requires written permission of Winifred Kirk
  • Interviewed by Stuart Reid, 3 November 1995
  • Ms Kirk was Field Officer in adoptions from 1957 to 1979 for the Child Welfare Department. She prepared the documents to be presented to the Supreme Court for adoption. She reported on every applicant for adoption; she investigated the applicants and interviewed the relinquishing mothers. She was not involved in private adoptions. She describes the relinquishing mothers in some detail, as well as the changing social conditions that lead to a peak in adoptions in 1970/1971, followed by a rapid drop in numbers thereafter. Ms Kirk also describes the background to Ngala, from its beginnings as the House of Mercy to the Alexandra Home to Ngala.
  • Cooper, Florence
  • OH 2631/7      3rd Floor, Battye Library
  • A/r       1 hr 45 min      Ask staff
  • T/r        51 leaves         Ask staff
  • Open research. Publication requires written permission of Ms Cooper
  • Interviewed by Stuart Reid, 10 June 1996
  • Ms Cooper was on the Committee of the Alexandra Home from 1957-1959 and of Ngala from 1959. She describes the history of adoptions at Ngala, arranged through Matron Grant and the Child Welfare Department. She also describes the role of Ngala in caring for the mothers before their confinements, and its unique role in facilitating bonding between adoptive mothers and babies.
  • Meerwald, Jude, 1929 –
  • OH 2631/4      3rd Floor, Battye Library
  • A/r       2 hr 45 min      Ask staff
  • T/r                                Ask staff
  • Open research. Publication requires written permission of Ms Meerwald.
  • Interviewed by Stuart Reid, Oct and Nov 1995
  • She outlines the training of Mothercraft Nurses at Ngala, the care of unmarried mothers, including weaning after breast-feeding, and some background information regarding the mothers. For instance, she describes “girls” coming from the eastern States to give birth in secrecy.
  • Duncan, Helen MBE
  • OH 244           3rd Floor, Battye Library
  • A/r       1x90min, 1×60 min tapes        Ask staff
  • T/r        Summary of interview
  • Open research.
  • Interviewed by Chris Jeffery, 27 September 1977
  • Ms Duncan was on the Committee of the Alexandra Home and Ngala from 1949. She outlines the history and principles of The House of Mercy and its successors.
  • Thomson, Ian, 1929 –
  • OH2782          3rd Floor, Battye Library
  • A/r       6x60min tapes             Ask staff
  • S/r        Summary of interview
  • Open research. Author’s permission required for publication
  • Interviewed by L. Simm, 1995
  • Mr Thomson was abandoned in a Crippled Children’s Home in England, then transferred to an orphanage. He had limited contact with his mother and aunt, and never learned his family history. After migrating to Australia he and his wife adopted four children.
  • Other oral histories are available through Jigsaw and Adoptions International of WA (See below).


  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Western Australian College of Advanced Education (WACAE), 1989
  • Mezzanine Floor, Film/Video, Battye Library, V3168, Ask Staff
  • In programme 1, a 16-year-old girl with a young baby and a 15-year-old girl, who is eight months pregnant, discuss the problems and difficulties of their situation and the personal development aspects of young motherhood. Programme 2 features a smorgasboard of the professional resources available to pregnant teenagers. Programme 3 is an interview in which the mother of a pregnant teenager explores the feelings, reactions and actions which ultimately led to the development of a support group: Parents of Adolescent Mothers. In programme 4, Sue Midford from the Adoption Research and Counselling Service in Perth discusses the issue of adoption with two young women who have faced this situation.

Printed primary sources

Pamphlets, newsletters, annual reports

A Guide to search, mediation and contact, Family Information and Adoption Services, Department of Family and Children’s Services, 1997.
Notes that adoption files held by Family Information and Adoption Service go back to 1920s, but minimal records of private adoptions until 1960s
Adoption: What are the alternatives? A Pamphlet for Mothers who are considering placing their children for adoption
The Association of Relinquishing Mothers, Tuart Hill, 1985.
362.8392 ADO
3rd Floor, Stack, Ask Staff
Very useful
Adoptions International News, 1999-2005, AIWA (Adoptions International Western Australia)
362.734 ADO
3rd Floor, Stack, Ask Staff
Articles, letters, information and advice
Adoptive Parents Newsletter, 1986-1992, Adoptive Parents Association of WA
Q362.734 ADO and Q363.734 NEW
3rd Floor, Stack, Ask Staff
Information. History of adoption in WA
Annual Reports of the State Children’s Department, Perth, in Minutes, Votes and   Proceedings of the Parliament….with papers presented to both Houses, Government printer, Perth, 1890-2005.
For example, 1912, – Lists numbers of state wards, conduct of orphanages,             illegitimate children, numbers of adoptions.
Annual report, 2003-2005, Adoption Jigsaw WA Inc
362.734 ADO
3rd Floor, Stack, Ask staff
ARMS update, 1983-1997, Association of Relinquishing mothers,
362.734 ARM
3rd Floor, Stack, Ask Staff
Articles, letters, newspaper articles, information and advice
Bayliss, Janet, et al, (contributors), Procedure for the Assessment of Adoptive Parents, Department for Community Services, WA, 1987.
Part 1   – A research-based rationale for the assessment procedure
Part 2   – The practitioner’s guide to the procedure
Part 3   – Collating the information to make a recommendation
Q362.734 PRO
Information about adoption, Department for Community Development, WA
1 (Sep 1994) – 15 (1996)
362.734 INF
3rd Floor, Stack, Ask Staff
Jigsaw Pieces, Adoption Jigsaw WA
Q362.734 JIG
3rd Floor, Stack, Ask Staff
Very useful. Discussion of reunions, infertility, advice and information
New options in Adoption: Understanding Western Australia’s New Laws on Adoption,
Prepared by Public Affairs Branch, Department for Community Development, Perth, 1994.
346.9410178 NEW
3rd Floor, Cabinet
Newspaper and magazine articles
(No on-line catalogue. Limited card catalogue references, but mostly quoted in various books and newsletters. Page references rarely given; topics not always. Many references come from Elphick, Adoption Jigsaw, so some bias in selection of topics)


West Australian:
4 October 1973, p.11 Legislation to strengthen protection of people involved in adoption
27 May 1974, p. 13 Overseas adoption
23 March 1976, p. 4 Overseas adoption
9 December 1976, p.1 Overseas adoption
5 December 1979 Article re adoption
12 December 1979 Letter re adoption
12 January 1979 Reply to letter
4 April 1981 Foster children
9 April 1981 Foster children
18 April 1983 Reunion
23 August 1983, p.3 Government to establish a contact register
8 December 1986, p. 1 Report on Select Committee findings
27 February 1987 ARCS view
18 May 1988 Jackie Watkins and daughter reunited
1 January 1993 Article re. adoption
29 January 1993 Unusual reunion story
30 March 1993 Adoption bill
Aug – Sep 1993 Letters re changes to legislation
October 1993 Article re. adoption
Daily News:
1 January 1962, p.5
16 November 1972, p.22
Problems of adoption
19 June 1973, p. 3 Baby shortage
8 March 1983, p. 30 Cross-cultural adoption
November 1983
6 November 1985


Sunday Times:
30 October 1977 Personal story
10 January 1982 Jigsaw
8 May 1983
12 May 1985
Plea to mother
7 February 1999, pp. 8-9 Macdonald, Kim, ‘Agony, joy, for childless women, 1999. Reviews of Adoption and Reproductive Technology’.


Sunday Independent:
3 June 1979 Search
1 March 1980 Outcome
3 June 1979 Search
2 December 198, Outcome
Subiaco Post:
8 March 1988 Opening of Jigsaw premises
19 December 1991 Obituary – Robin Winkler
Western Mail:
March 1984
10 August 1985
New Idea:
August 1983 Article on Jackie Watkins, MLA
Wanneroo Times:
14 Feb 1984, p. 21 Jackie Watkins
Woman’s day:
27 April 1982 Article on Robin Winkler and Margaret Van Keppel

Debate carried on in newspapers from August 1983 until February 1984 regarding changes to the Adoption Act. Quoted in Elphick, Adoption Jigsaw.

Daily News:
24 August 1983 Government announcement re changes
28 July, 1983 Government announcement

Adoptive parents

Daily News
31 August 1983 Letters
West Australian
August 1983, Letters
15 August 1983, Letters
7 September 1983, Letters
15 September 1983, Letters
Wanneroo Times
6 September 1983, Letters
19 December 1983, Letters

Relinquishing mothers

Wanneroo Times and West Australian


West Australian
9 August 1983
27 August 1983
August 1983


West Australian
4 August 1983
5 September 1983
Wanneroo Times
6 September 1983
13 December 1983
10 January 1984

Adoptive mothers

West Australian
6 September 1983, Article

Secondary sources

First person writing

Abbott, Debby, Is a child within my reach? One woman’s search to become a mother,
D Abbott, Warnbro, WA, 2002
616.692 ABB
Henry, Sam, The road to parenthood: adoption and beyond, Hesperian Press, 2003
3rd Floor, Stack, Ask Staff.
Johnson, Glennis Irene, Mallee girl: a memoir, G.I Dees, Heathridge, WA, 1999.
Autobiography. Searched for birth mother, had to have law changed to obtain       her birth certificate. One of the founders of the Adoption Jigsaw.

Books,  papers and theses

Elphick, Ron, The Adoption Jigsaw, R. Elphick, Perth, WA, 2000
A history of Jigsaw in WA from 1978-1998.
Q362.734 ELP
Kerr, Rosemary, “The appeal of blue eyes: Adoption, Citizenship and Eugenics in Western Australia during the interwar years”, Edeson, Gemma, and Cupitt, Cathy, (eds.), On the Edge 2000, Refereed Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Curtin Humanities Postgraduate Research conference 2000, Black Swan Press, 2001, pp. 3-12.
001.3 CUR, Stack, Ask Staff.
Lang, Jean, The Open Door: a history of loving care for families, House of Mercy – Alexandra Home – Ngala, 1890-1980, Ngala Mothercraft Home and Training   Centre Inc, Perth, 1980.
362.828 LAN
Maloney, B., The Life and Work of Sister Kate, Graylands Teachers College Thesis, 1964
362.732 MAL
Early twentieth century. Orphaned children, unwanted babies looked after at Sister Kate cottages in Parkerville and Queens Park. Later taken over by the Child Welfare Department.

Adoption Service Providers

In Western Australia only the Department for Community Development is licensed and accredited to arrange legal adoptions (since 1985). One organisation, Adoptions International, has applied to the Minister three times for accreditation and has been refused. No other organisation has applied.

  • Minister – Hon Sheila McHale, MLA, Minister for Community Development, Women’s Interests, Culture and the Arts
  • 12th Floor Dumas House
  • 2 Havelock St, West Perth WA 6005
  • Ph 08 9213 6900, Fax 08 9213 6901
  • sheilam@mp.wa.gov.au
  • Department for Community Development
  • 189 Royal St, East Perth WA 6004
  • PO Box 6334 East Perth 6892
  • Ph 08 9222 2555
  • Director General – Jane Brazier
  • Ph 08 9222 2505 Fax 08 9222 2653
  • Executive Director – Lex McCulloch
  • Ph 9222 2725 Fax 08 9222 2953
  • Adoption Services Office (pre-Adoption)
  • Reception: Ph 08 9222 2555 / Freecall 1800 622 258
  • Fax 08 9222 2607
  • Email adoptions@dcd.wa.gov.au
  • Manager, Adoption Services – Colin Keogh Ph 08 9222 2800 colinke@dcd.wa.gov.au
  • Past Adoption Services
  • (Also Department for Community Development – details as above)
  • Director Information Services – Peter Wimsett,
  • Ph 08 9222 2509, Fax 08 9222 2822 peterw@fcs.wa.gov.au

Support Services

  • Adoption Jigsaw of WA (Jigsaw)
  • PO Box 403 Subiaco WA 6904
  • 08 9388 1922, Fax 9388 3364
  • jigsaw@jigsaw.org.au
  • www.jigsaw.org.au
  • Funded by Department for Community Development
  • Offers a professional information, support, search, contact and mediation service to all those with a family separation experience, in particular adoption.
  • Was set up by interest groups.
  • Adoption Research and Counselling Service Inc (ARCS)
  • PO Box 187 Mt Lawley WA 6929
  • Ph 08 9370 4914 Fax 9370 4917
  • arcs@adoptionwa.org.au
  • www.adoptionwa.org.au
  • Funded by Department for Community Development
  • An independent community agency that provides professional counselling, support and information to anyone dealing with the challenges and opportunities in: adoption, pre-adoption, step and blended families, foster families and families created through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).
  • Was largely set up by professionals – particularly Robin Winkler (Psychologist at UWA)
  • Adoption Support for Families and Children Inc (ASFC)
  • 08 9381 2221
  • Provides support to adoptive families and prospective adoptive parents. Operates child sponsorship programs in India, Thailand, Philippines and Korea. Also provides aid to children in third-world countries.
  • Private, non-government organisation.
  • Previously Australian for Children Society
  • Previously ASIAC – Australian Society for Intercountry Aid to Children
  • Adoptions International of WA Inc (AIWA)
  • St Brigid’s Centre
  • 60 John St, Suite 6
  • Northbridge WA 6003
  • Ph   08 9328 2555
  • Fax 08 9328 2544
  • Connected with Adoption Support for Families and Children. Formed in the hope of becoming a licensed and accredited adoption agency. Not successful, so will be re-absorbed into Adoption Support for Families and Children Inc.
  • Association Representing Mothers Separated from their Children by Adoption Inc (ARMS)
  • PO Box 521 Hamilton Hill WA
  • 08 9312 1999
  • Provides emotional support to mothers separated from their children by adoption. To educate the public of the lifelong effects of adoption and to work to change adoption laws and practices.
  • South Western Adoption Support Group
  • 104 Peel Terrace, Busselton, WA
  • Pat – Ph & Fax  08 9754 1976
  • clarrie@westnet.com.au
  • Pauline – 08 9752 2440
  • Other Organisations and Interest groups
  • WA Council on Adoption and Alternative Families (WACAAF)–
  • Peak body that included all adoption organisations in Western Australia – developed to bring all parties together to discuss and work towards changes in legislation, especially in regard to gaining access to records.
  • Organised by Robin Winkler, bringing all stakeholders together. Robin now deceased.
  • Adoptive Families Association of WA
  • Previously Adoptive Parents Association of WA
  • Started in mid 1980s by adoptive parents to represent adoptive parents. Closed in 1997.
  • Wanted to develop a Positive Register at the Department for Community development. However, it was disallowed because of the veto option.

Holdings at University of Western Australia

Collection donated to Dr Pam Sharpe by Trudy Rosenwald (Adoptions International)

16 boxes (magazine holder style) and files
Almost entirely newsletters of adoption organisations around Australia

Box 1
ASIAC (Australian Society for Intercountry Aid (Children)), Victoria Annual Report 1977
AACASA (Australian African Children’s Aid and Support Association Inc) Queensland, December 2005
Adoption Australia, Canberra, Newsletters Winter 1991-1996 and April 1982
Box 2
SNAP (Adoptive Parents Association of Canberra) Newsletters
April/May 1980 – Aug/Sp 1985
News, Personal stories, Soapbox, Information
Box 3
Adoption Australia, Newsletters
1985 – 1991
Box 4
Adoption Australia, Newsletters
1996 – 2005
Box 5
Adoptive Families Association of Queensland, Toowoomba, Newsletters
Undated. Late 1980s? – 1990 and 1991
Adoptions Newsletter Queensland
Around Adoption, Magazine of the Adoptive Parents Association of NSW
Undated, but 1988 – late 1990s.
Box 6
ASIAC Newsletters
Box 7
Victorian Newsletters
Box 8
NSW Newsletters
Box 9
IAPA (International Adoptive Parents Association) Newsletters
Box 10
Australians Caring for Children, Newsletters, 1988 – 1995
Box 11
Australians Caring for Children, Newsletters, 1995 –
Box 12
Australian African Children’s Aid and Support, Newsletters
Box 13
Inter Adoptive Families of Queensland, Newsletters
2002 – 2005
Box 14
Australians Aiding Children, Newsletters
Nov 1986 – 1995
FACTS, Victoria,  Newsletters
1990 – 1998