Forced Adoption Support Services

The FASS program is for those who are affected by past forced adoptions policies and practices in Australia, also known as ‘local’ adoptions.

This service is available for mothers and fathers who have lost a child/children to adoption, adult adoptees, and extended family members. This is a national service, where people can access support in the state they live in regardless of which state the adoption took place in.

We provide forced adoption support services, call us on 1800 21 03 13.

Forced adoptions between 1950 and 1975

Did you know that between 1950 and 1975, approximately 250,000 adoptions were recorded in Australia? And many were forced adoptions. To learn more visit the forced adoption history project, HERE.

Without Consent Online

‘Without Consent’ is a project that shows moving experiences of heartbreak and resilience. Click here to view video portraits of people impacted by Australia’s past adoption practices.

How we can help

Forced Adoption Support Services  (FASS) can provide counselling, information and support, assistance with family search and reunion, and referral to other services and networks. We also provide links and referrals to peer support and advocacy groups.

FASS offers a range of education and support groups and adoption focussed workshops. Our experienced staff is respectful of people’s differing choices and opinions, and we acknowledge and value the diverse experiences of those affected by forced adoption.

Our Outreach Process for Local Adoption is here.

Link to the Forced Adoption History Project is here.

Link to the Department of Social Services Forced Adoptions website is here.

File Releases for South Australian Adoptions

The Department for Child Protection has made some changes in regards to applying for adoption information for adoptions that took place in South Australia. All adoption information applications and requests will now go through the Freedom of Information unit, Department for Child Protection.

From their website:

‘The Guideline, Provision of adoption information and the exercise of the Chief Executive’s discretion under section 27(5) of the Adoption Act 1988 has now been approved and published on the Department for Child Protection’s website at the following address

This web page will be updated regularly with new information as it is approved’.  

Please contact the Freedom of Information unit if you would like some further information on (08) 8226 4399 or please contact our Forced Adoption Support Service on 1800 21 03 13

Report of the Review of the South Australian Adoption Act 1988 – Review Recommendations

During 2014-15, the South Australian Adoption Act 1988 and Adoption Regulations 2004 were reviewed by an independent reviewer, Associate Professor Lorna Hallahan, and many of you participated in this review process.  The Review report is now available from the DECD website which you can find here:

If you have any have concerns or feel distressed with any of the Recommendations proposed, please contact us here at Post Adoption Support Services on (08) 8245 8100 or the Forced Adoption Support Services on 1800 21 03 13. At this stage, the Government has not responded to the proposed recommendations, and we will keep you informed as to when this occurs.

Small Grants Program

The Small Grants program is aimed at activities that build capacity and enhance support for people affected by forced adoption. The maximum grant amount payable is $3000 per application, and there will be 2 funding rounds per year in February and July (previously April and October).

Small Grants funding may be used for a range of peer support activities which are inclusive and promote well-being, self-determination, and access to support and advocacy for people affected by forced adoption. These activities include, but are not restricted to:

• Capacity building opportunities such as local or national training, and community education.
• Retreats, including facilitation costs, accommodation, meals and travel
• Group facilitation costs, including cost to engage facilitator
• Group therapy costs (e.g. in creative and expressive art), including cost to engage therapist
• Production of memorials
• Venue and group meeting costs for support and advocacy, including catering and materials
These grants cannot be used for activities that will benefit a sole person or for brokerage for individual counselling and other services.
Applicants are encouraged to consider Activities that will enable your group or organization to continue to provide support to your community into the future. This could include:
• Training in mental health first aid (for those providing telephone support)
• Training in working with the media (for those involved in advocacy)
• Website development

If you would like more information about the Small Grants Program, or for an application pack, please contact Nikki Hartmann, Manager Forced Adoption Support Services at or call 08 8245 8139.

The Forced Adoptions Support Services (FASS) Small Grants Program are pleased to announce that we have funded the following projects:

July 2022
Applicant: Mothers Who Have Lost a Child to Adoption.
Painting Workshop

February 2022
Applicant: Community Member
Drumming Group for Adoptees

July 2021
Applicant: Community Member
Writers Group for Adoptee

Applicant: Community Member
Retreat for Adoptees

July 2020
Applicant: Community Member
Continuation of Writers Group and publication of a book of Adoptee writings

Applicant: Adoptee Rights Australia
Development and printing of a series of information pamphlets to raise awareness of issues for Adoptees

February 2020
Applicant: Community Member
Peer Support Training for Adoptees

Applicant: Community Member
Writers Group for Adoptees

July 2019
Applicant: Community Member
Mindfulness Practice Group for anyone affected by forced adoption who has done a previous Mindfulness Group

Applicant: Community Member
Writes Group for Adoptees

February 2019
Applicant: Community Member
Kintsugi Workshop for Adoptees (Arts/Healing workshop)

October 2018
Applicant: Community Member
Mindfulness course for anyone affected by Forced Adoption

April 2018
Applicant: Community Member
8 Week Mindfulness and Compassion course for adoptees

October 2017
Applicant: Adoptee Information and Advocacy Services SA
Website Development

Applicant: Heather Waters Productions
Weekend away for adoptees for the purposes of making a documentary film about adoption

April 2017
Applicant: Adoptee Information and Advocacy Services SA
Travel costs for 2 adoptees to go to Melbourne to join the first Australian National Adoptee Roundtable.

Applicant: IdentityRites
Production, printing and launch of a book of adoptee anthologies ‘Adopted’.

Applicant: Adoptee Support Group
Art Therapy workshop for adoptees.

Applicant: Mothers Support Group
Art Therapy Day for mothers who have lost a child to adoption

Forced Adoption Support Service Funding Extended

On 21 March 2013, the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard apologised on behalf of the Australian Government to people affected by forced adoption or removal policies and practices. Following this, the Australian Government committed $11.5 million (nationally) over four years to assist those affected by forced adoptions. This four-year period was due to end on 30 June 2017.

We are pleased to advise that our Forced Adoption Support Services (FASS) funding will be extended for another four years. Read on for more details.

Training for Health Professionals

Our Post Adoption and Forced Adoption Support Services provide a range of support options to individuals and families who are affected by adoption. The Australian Psychological Society, with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health, has developed a national online training program designed to support health professionals working in mainstream services to deliver their services in an appropriate and sensitive manner to people who have been affected by forced adoption policies and practices in Australia. The training is free for all health and community professionals including counsellors, therapists, general practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, mental health nurses and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers. For more information, visit

Once you have completed this training and would like to go on our preferred provider list for referrals from our service, please contact Nikki Hartmann, Manager PASS and FASS on (08) 8223 4566.

Locations Available


There is no cost to for direct client service. Fees will apply for some activities when using external specialists and for our Professional Development Training.

Service Resources

Funding Acknowledgement

Forced Adoption Support Service is provided by Relationships Australia SA and funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

Service Enquiry

Use this form to enquire about our services.