Write to the FOI Unit at the address listed below. Clearly describe the documents you seek and include your full name, address and date-of-birth, the application fee (if applicable) and certified proof of identity if the request is for personal records.
It helps to provide as much detail as possible, such as the type of document, the date produced and its agency reference number.
The FOI team in the department can help you make your request.
Send applications to:
Freedom of Information Unit
Department of Health and Human Services GPO Box 4057 Melbourne VIC 3001
Adoption records are often able to be obtained without making a FOI application. For more information about obtaining adoption records, please contact Family Information Networks Discovery (FIND) on (03) 8608 5700.
Making a request for somebody else
You can apply for documents as an agent for another person. A parent or guardian may apply for documents on behalf of the child. You must give the FOI officer evidence of your guardianship status or your authority to act as an agent.
You can apply for the information of your children if you are the child's guardian, you provide evidence of this and you have custody. You will not be able to access any information related to who reported a Child protection matter to the department regarding your child.
Under the law, the agency must make a decision on a valid request within 45 days of the date received (30 days as of 1 September 2017).
We will acknowledge receipt of your application within 7 days.
If we believe you need to pay access charges, you will receive a letter and you can dispute the charges. You must respond to this letter within 28 days.
Once processed, we will send you a letter outlining our decision about your request.
You can help us by paying the application fee if required and making your request as clear as possible.
We must notify you within 45 days of receiving your request if we are unable to identify any relevant documents.
If we release information to you that contains personal information about other people, we must contact those people and give them 60 days to appeal the release of their details to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
You have the right to seek a review from the Freedom of Information Commissioner (see http://foicommissioner.vic.gov.au/). Requests for a review must be made within 28 days of receiving the department's decision.