Forced Adoption website Terms of use and disclaimer, copyright and privacy policy

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    This page explains the National Archives of Australia’s (the National Archives) responsibilities for managing the personal information you provide to ensure your privacy. It also sets out the Terms and Conditions of use of the Forced Adoptions History Project website. As part of the process of adding your experience to the website, you will be asked to read and agree to these Terms and Conditions. Please read them carefully.

    Purpose of personal information

    The National Archives collects personal information to:

    • develop the website content through contributions from members of the public about their personal experiences
    • provide information about the publication of experiences
    • contact submitters, if required
    • link experiences submitted by the same person.

    To manage the Forced Adoptions website, the National Archives has developed files to store policy correspondence, analysis, working papers and other documents that relate to the Forced Adoptions History Project:

    • research
    • consultations
    • content for the website and exhibition.

    Personal information about individuals who have shared their experiences, and third parties, is securely held in a database or paper files. This may include personal information about individuals who are authorised to represent complainants or respondents, and about third parties who provide information in the course of the National Archives’ research.


    The National Archives understands that people are concerned about their privacy, and adheres to the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act). Further information can be found on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website.

    The Forced Adoptions History Project Experiences form requires that you enter your name and email address so that you can be advised of publication of your experience and to link your experience (if you submit more than one). The National Archives will not use your personal information for any purpose other than to manage your personal experience(s) on the website.

    Please see ‘Use and disclosure’ for more information.


    The National Archives collects personal information directly from individuals wishing to share their experiences on the Forced Adoptions History Project website. This information is stored in a secure database. Access to this database, and its information, is restricted to staff responsible for managing the website.

    Use and disclosure

    The National Archives does not give personal information collected online to other agencies, organisations or anyone else without consent, or unless the disclosure is otherwise required or authorised by law.

    Data quality

    The National Archives maintains and updates the personal information held as necessary or when advised by individuals of changes.

    Data security

    Personal information collected by the National Archives is held in electronic databases. Some personal information is also held in paper files.

    The following staff members have access to the electronic databases and paper files on a need to know basis:

    • National Archives staff involved in managing the Forced Adoptions website and exhibition
    • legal and policy staff
    • IT staff
    • records management staff.

    When no longer required, personal information in paper files is destroyed, in a secure manner, in accordance with the National Archives’ Records Disposal Authority.

    Personal information stored in electronic databases, when no longer required, is deleted in a secure manner. The databases maintain audit trails whenever personal information in the database is accessed, included, amended or deleted.

    Access and correction

    For information about how to access or correct personal information held by the National Archives, see the National Archives’ privacy policy.

    Legal information

    Whose views are these?

    The National Archives is an Australian Government agency. The Forced Adoptions History Project website shares reflections on the experiences of people who have been affected by forced adoption practices and policies. Some of the content is created by National Archives staff, but most is user-generated, created by people who experienced forced adoption, studied the experience or reflected on it in some way. Public contributions to this website do not represent the views of the National Archives or any other government agency.

    Who is responsible for the content?

    The National Archives does not accept any liability arising in connection with any material contributed to the website. The National Archives encourages contributors to communicate with respect for other people and for laws, including those relating to defamation, copyright, privacy and confidentiality.

    Who owns the content?

    The content of this website has been drawn from a range of sources. The National Archives has negotiated with the creators to publish their content on the website. Contributions may also be used in the exhibition and material associated with it, such as a catalogue or brochure.

    If you agree to the Terms and Conditions to share your experiences on the website, then you assign the National Archives rights to use it for other Forced Adoptions History Project programs, such as the exhibition. The National Archives will not use your material without contacting you first.

    What about privacy?

    The National Archives respects your right to privacy (see the Privacy statement for details). If you have any concerns about material on this website that relates to you, please contact the project team.

    Is it okay to reuse or alter the content?

    The National Archives encourages you to share this site with others, and to publish links to it. If you would like to copy or reuse any of the content, you must ask for permission to do so. Please contact the project team with a clear and detailed request. See the National Archives’ corporate website for more details on copyright.

    Will the site always be here?

    The National Archives will try to ensure this website is available continuously, and endeavour to fix as soon as possible any technical problems that may arise. The National Archives will maintain the website at least until 2017. The website may endure beyond 2017, either at its current location or elsewhere. The website will be preserved for ongoing reference use.

    Privacy statement

    As an agency of the Australian Government, the National Archives complies with the Privacy Act. This page outlines how the National Archives collects, uses and discloses information via this website.

    What does ‘personal information’ mean?

    Subsection 6(1) of the Privacy Act defines ‘personal information’ as:

    personal information means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable:

    1. (a) whether the information or opinion is true or not; and
    2. (b) whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.

    sensitive information means:

    1. (a) information or an opinion about an individual’s:
      1. (i) racial or ethnic origin; or
      2. (ii) political opinions; or
      3. (iii) membership of a political association; or
      4. (iv) religious beliefs or affiliations; or
      5. (v) philosophical beliefs; or
      6. (vi) membership of a professional or trade association; or
      7. (vii) membership of a trade union; or
      8. (viii) sexual preferences or practices; or
      9. (ix) criminal record;
      10. (x) that is also personal information; or
    2. (b) health information about an individual; or
    3. (c) genetic information about an individual that is not otherwise health information.

    What do we know about you?

    The National Archives will have personal information about you if you have shared an experience on the website. Additional information may be held by the National Archives if you use the National Archives’ contact form or send the National Archives an email.

    What do we do with your personal information?

    The National Archives will use your personal information for the purpose for which you provided it – and for no other purpose.

    • If you share an experience on this site, the name you use and your message will (most likely) become public, but your email address will not. If you make contact with the National Archives, a record of the correspondence will be created so that the National Archives can keep in touch with you. Where appropriate, the National Archives may also talk to you about publishing your material, or using it for exhibition purposes.
    • The National Archives will use your contact details only to correspond with you.
    • The National Archives will not pass your personal information on to anyone – except in the unlikely event that it is required by law to do so, such as responding to a Freedom of Information request.
    • The National Archives will not publish identifying information on the site about you without your permission.

    If you believe that the National Archives has information about you that is incorrect or not up to date in some way, please let the National Archives know so that it can be corrected. If you have any concerns about material on this website that relates to you, please contact the project team.

    More information?

    This Privacy statement is written in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles of the Australian Government. If you wish to make a complaint, see also the Privacy statement on the National Archives’ corporate website.

    If you have comments, questions or concerns, contact the project team.

    Terms and Conditions

    The National Archives welcomes your thoughts, ideas, experiences and other information you have to share about your experience of forced adoptions. If you decide to contribute, the National Archives asks you to be mindful that whatever you share via the website will be available to all internet users, except for your contact details.

    To be clear: your words, photos and so on could be distributed widely, and the National Archives has no control over that.

    You may choose to use your real name for contributions, but this is not a requirement – the National Archives will accept the use of a nickname or pseudonym.

    Your contact details will not be displayed on this website but will be kept in the National Archives’ records.

    If you are considering taking legal action relating to your forced adoptions experience, you may wish to seek legal advice before sharing your story on this website.

    • Like all communities, the National Archives has expectations for participation. Please read the full moderation policy before contributing.

    To participate

    Anyone is free to share their experience of forced adoption, but remember it is important to be honest, accurate, respectful and relevant.