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Certificates and searches for an adoption

How to request searches and certificates for an adopted person and their parents.

Adoption Legislation Amendment

In September 2020, the Adoption Legislation Amendment (Integrated Birth Certificates) Bill 2020 was introduced to NSW parliament. The Bill introduces Integrated Birth Certificates (IBCs) to NSW.  

An IBC is a new form of birth certificate that includes information about an adopted person’s parents and siblings at birth, as well as their parents and siblings after adoption.  

Given that the legislation is yet to be enacted, limited information about the changes is available at this time.  

Should you have any questions about the proposed IBC, you can speak with a staff member at the Department of Communities and Justice, Adoption and Permanency Services, by contacting the Open Adoption Hotline on 1800 003 227. 

Applying for pre-adoptive information

Before you start your application, you must:

  1. contact the Department of Communities and Justice adoption information unit and
  2. ask them for an adoption information certificate or supply authority.

We cannot search our records until we have this permission to provide you with the pre-adoptive information held in our records.

Post-adoptive information

If you are an adopted person and you need a copy of your post-adoptive birth certificate, you can apply online.

You can apply for birth, death and marriage certificates if you are:

  • an adopted person requesting pre-adoption information
  • a birth parent looking for information about your child, including an adopted person’s birth record
  • a next of kin: a birth relative such as an adopted sibling or person who has inherited the rights of the adopted person or birth parent.

Once you have an adoption information certificate or supply authority, you can apply for pre-adoption information by post or in person at a Service NSW service centre.

Download and complete the form:

Your application for adoption information must include:

  • adoption information certificate or supply authority from the Department of Communities and Justice adoption information unit 
  • completed application form for each record you want to obtain
  • proof of identity documents
  • payment for the certificates.

Adoption applications can be complex and we are unable to provide a firm estimate of the time required to complete the process.

We will send your certificates to you by registered post. A fee of $11 is included for postage and handling.

Service provided


​Pre-adoptive certificate

Includes the information provided at the time of birth by birth parent/s. This cannot be used for identification purposes and will be stamped with 'Not for Official Use'.


​Adopted person's birth record

Includes pre- and post-adoption birth information on one document. This cannot be used for identification purposes.


Marriage search

Includes a result of search with names of the couple, date and place of marriage. A full copy can be provided if the marriage was at least 50 years ago. 


Death search 

Includes name, date and place of death, cause of death and burial or cremation details of the person who died. A full copy can be provided if the death was at least 30 years ago.


​Extract of a birth parent's birth record 

For people born in NSW, includes name, date and place of birth and the given names of the parents. A full copy can be provided if the birth was at least 100 years ago.


You must provide a least 3 forms of current identity, one of each from Categories 1, 2 and 3. 

  • If you cannot provide proof of identity from Categories 1 and 2, you must still provide at least 3 forms of identity. At least two of these must be from Category 3.
  • If cannot meet these requirements, please contact us for further advice. 

Category Identification documents

​If born in Australia:

  • An Australian birth certificate

Record of immigration status:

  • Citizenship certificate
  • New Zealand citizenship certificate together with passport

  • New Zealand birth certificate

  • ​Australia's driver's licence
  • Australian passport

  • Firearms licence

  • Foreign passport

  • Proof of age card

  • ​Medicare card
  • Centrelink or Department of Veterans Affairs card

  • Security/Crowd control licence

  • Tertiary education institution ID card

  • ​Recent utility account with current residential address (issued within last 3 months)

Related information

Find information on adoptions

Family and relationships

Apply for adoption information and find out how to contact an adopted person, birth parent or family member.
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