Once an application has been received, VARTA will commence searching for the donor conception records and for the person with whom the applicant wishes to communicate.
VARTA can also refer to a specialist search agency if the person is not easily located.
The following minimum searches will be conducted where information is accessible:
- consultation with the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages and request for a search of any relevant registers including marriage, birth, death and change of names
- inspection of the current non-public Victorian electoral roll*
- inspection of the current public Australian electoral roll, if person not identified on current non-public Victorian electoral roll
- search of the White Pages directory
- basic internet search
- search of publicly available information on prominent social media sites
*VARTA can obtain information from the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) to help find and contact the subject of an application. The date of birth of Victorian electors (excluding silent electors) is provided to confirm a person’s identity. The postal address is provided so that VARTA can contact that person to inform them that their information will be given to the applicant, explain their legal rights regarding lodging a contact preference and offer them support from a VARTA counsellor. Case by case information is only provided under strict conditions defined in VARTA’s legal agreement with the VEC. Information will only be used for the purpose of identifying and contacting the subject of an application, and will not be given to any third party. VARTA recognises that it is a serious offence to use enrolment information in any way, except for the specified permitted purpose.
More complex searches may include the following, if relevant and information is accessible:
- search of online death indexes
- search of accessible historical electoral rolls and other accessible records held by the Authorised search agency
- inspection of probate/wills/letters of administration held at the Public Records Office of Victoria
- search of accessible missing persons registers
- inspection of immigration files, military registers and any other national archives
- Land Titles searches.
VARTA will ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to locate the person an applicant is seeking information about and will utilise the assistance of a search agency, VANISH when appropriate.