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New South Wales - Legislation

State Children Relief Act 1901 (1901 - 1923)

  • State Children Relief Act 1901

    State Children Relief Act 1901, courtesy of NSW legislation.

Principal Act
Alternative Names
  • An Act to consolidate the Acts relating to the establishment of a system of Boarding-out Children (Long title)

The State Children Relief Act 1901 (61/1901) replaced the 1881 legislation by the same name and was the basis of most law to do with state children. It provided the State Children's Relief Board with authority to direct the removal of state children; grant licences for the reception of state children as boarders; apprentice any child; approve persons applying to 'adopt' state children; and arrange terms of 'adoption'. The Act entitled a boarding-out officer to remove a state child from an asylum, reformatory school and arrange for the child to be boarded out. This Act was amended by the Neglected Children and Juvenile Offenders Act 1905 and repealed by The Child Welfare Act 1923.


 1881 - 1901 State Children Relief Act 1881
       1901 - 1923 State Children Relief Act 1901
             1923 - 1939 Child Welfare Act 1923
                   1939 - 1987 Child Welfare Act 1939
                         1965 - 2003 Adoption of Children Act 1965
                         1987 - 2010 Children (Care and Protection) Act 1987
                               1998 - Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998
                               2000 - Adoption Act 2000



  • Weigall, Cecil Edward, Infants' custody, maintenance & protection acts, (N.S.W.) : being Deserted Wives & Children Act, 1901; Infant Protection Act, 1904; Infants' Custody and Settlements Act, 1899; Infant Convicts' Adoption Act, 1901; Destitute Children's Society Act, 1901; State Children Relief Act, 1901; Children's Protection Act, 1902; and Neglected Children and Juvenile Offenders' Act, 1905, and regulations thereunder, Law Book Co of Australiasia, Sydney, 1908, 270 pp. Details

Online Resources


State Children Relief Act 1901
State Children Relief Act 1901
NSW legislation


Sources used to compile this entry: Parry, Naomi, 'Such a longing': black and white children in welfare in New South Wales and Tasmania, 1880-1940, Department of History, University of New South Wales, 2007, 361 pp,; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998,

Prepared by: Naomi Parry