Bethany Babies' Home was originally the Geelong Female Refuge when it was established in 1868. From 1928, the Refuge became known as Bethany Babies' Home. It accommodated pregnant women, babies and toddlers; it operated a maternity hospital and also adopted babies out. In 1977, it ceased to operate as a Home and became Bethany Community Support.
From 1977, all records relating to individuals, placements and adoptions at Bethany Babies' Home were transferred to the Victorian government.
Bethany Babies' Home was originally the Geelong Female Refuge when it was established in 1868. It subsequently provided accommodation for single pregnant women and 'care' for babies unable to stay with their families.
In 1928, the Refuge began to operate primarily as a babies' home. It was at this point that it became known as Bethany Babies' Home. As well as caring for babies and toddlers, Bethany operated as a maternity hospital and accommodated pregnant women. It also operated as a mothercraft training school. Bethany also became an adoption agency with the passing of the Adoption Act 1928.
By the late 1950s, Bethany was providing residential care for unmarried mothers, and residential care for children up to the age of four - comprising wards of state, Infant Life Protection placements and private placements.
Bethany Babies' Home ceased to operate in 1977 and became Bethany Community Support, a child and family welfare agency. From that time, all records relating to individuals, placements and adoptions from Bethany Babies' Home were transferred to the Victorian government.
1868 - 1928 Geelong Female Refuge
1928 - 1977 Bethany Babies' Home
1977 - Bethany Community Support
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Submission number 178', in Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices: submissions received by the Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2010-13/commcontribformerforcedadoption/submissions; James Jenkinson Consulting, Guide to out-of-home care services 1940-2000 - Volume One: Agency Descriptions, Department of Human Services, Unpublished, November 2001, https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/DHS.3004.011.0367.pdf.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 5 May 2009, Last modified: 12 July 2022