Aus to apologise for forced adoptions

2012-12-19 10:03

Sydney - Australia will formally apologise for the forced adoption of tens of thousands of babies born mostly to unmarried mothers between the 1950s and 1970s, the government said on Wednesday.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the apology for the adoptions, driven largely by religious groups in the post-war period, would be given on 21 March in Parliament House, Canberra.

"The government recognises the pain and suffering of those affected by these policies and practices," Roxon said.

"The apology will be offered on behalf of the nation as a significant step in the healing process for those affected."

The decision comes after a Senate inquiry into forced adoptions found as many as 225 000 babies were removed and called for a national apology and the establishment of "financial reparation schemes".

Scores of mothers and children gave evidence at the inquiry which looked at the forcible removal of infants between 1951 and 1975 in Australia, then a conservative and predominantly Christian nation.

Given the social stigma attached to unmarried females at the time, young women who fell pregnant were often sent to stay with relatives or at group houses run by churches or other religious organisations.

Pressured to consent

Babies were often signed away for adoption before they were born. The inquiry found women were pressured to consent, signatures were sometimes fraudulently obtained, and adoption was presented as inevitable.

Women later struggled to reunite with their children. In many cases adopted babies had their birth certificates issued in their adoptive parents' names, on the grounds that a "clean break" was best for all parties.

Roxon said these practices "resulted in profound feelings of sadness and loss, not only for the mothers who had their children taken, but their children, fathers and countless other family members".

"We hope that this national apology will assist in recognising the hurt and help families to heal," she said.

  • liezl.haramis.7 - 2012-12-19 11:05

    Pathetic sheep shaggers! Sorry??? Can you give back lost time and relationships????

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-19 11:06

    What would jesus do?

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-19 11:06

    Nothing cause he is not real just like santa

  • leon.lipschitz - 2012-12-19 13:08

    And what about reuniting and opening up the books so all adoptees and mothers who were forced to give up their children can be reunited It will be painful for all concerned but at least the traumatic book can be closed All those responsible for this tragedy should be held accountable for all the pain and suffering they caused I am an adoptee and the fact that I can't connect with my father hurts

  • michelle.fick.3 - 2012-12-19 16:06

    The ignorance of the old.

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