Birthright Hastings was formed by Hastings Lawyer, Mr. Peter Gifford and the Hastings Junior Chamber of Commerce, following a public meeting on 23 November 1955 to address the need for an organisation whose emphasis was on the welfare of children. His aim was to form a voluntary organisation to support and care for the children of one parent families in the community. After much studying of Roget’s Thesaurus, Mr. Gifford came up with the name of Birthright, claiming that “every child is entitled to a birthright.” Birthright Hastings became an Incorporated Society in March 1956.
Birthright grew to be a National body throughout New Zealand from this time on. Peter Gifford received the OBE in 1973 in recognition of his work with Birthright.
Birthright Hastings merged with FamilyCare HB in 2000. FamilyCare HB represented the joining together of six Hawke’s Bay based community organisations - Parentline; Pacific Islands Community; Women's Refuge; Birthright Hastings; Napier Barnardos and Val Belman who saw that there was a need in Hawke’s Bay to provide a fostering service. FamilyCare HB provided short term time out for children with caregiving families caring for children in their own homes. They also provided education programmes for parents.
Birthright Napier, FamilyCare HB and Hawke's Bay Children’s Home merged in September 2004 to become Birthright Hawke's Bay Child & Family Care Trust.