Anniversary of the Apology for Forced Adoptions

Thursday 21 March 2024 marks the 11th anniversary of the Apology by the Australian Government, for forced adoption practices.

Those forced adoption practices saw an estimated 250 000 newborn babies taken, without consent, from their mothers, many of whom were unwed, often teenagers, treated with contempt by society, and adopted. If consent was given, it was under coercion and duress.

The trauma of this, of course, had lifelong impacts on the mothers, sometimes too on the fathers, and on the children who were taken and adopted. The impacts of that trauma are felt often even when the adoption was a positive experience for the child. Doctors, nurses, religious groups and society showed indifference towards the mothers and babies, stemming from unjust and cruel judgement, instead of support and care when it was needed most.

We acknowledge the pain and suffering caused by those practices and remember all those who have been impacted, whether their child was taken through a forced adoption, they are a child who was removed through forced adoption, or the close family members of them.

We also remember and congratulate those who fought so hard for the apology and wider recognition and all of those who fought and continue to fight for justice.