NSW Government to apologise for past forced adoption practices

27 Aug 2012

Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward today announced that the NSW Government will make an official apology for the role NSW played in past forced adoption practices.

Between the 1950s and 1970s many single mothers in NSW were forced to give their children up for adoption. These adoptions took place in public hospitals and in maternity homes.

"In 2000 the NSW Standing Committee on Social Issues delivered a report of an inquiry into practices and administration and delivery of adoption and related services in New South Wales," Ms Goward said.

"This year, the Senate released a report on the Commonwealth Contribution to Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.

"Both of these reports make harrowing reading. They contain extended testimony from women who were forced to give up their children up for adoption."

Ms Goward said that many women and children continue to be haunted and feel devastated by what happened to them.

"Understandably many have found it difficult to move on with their lives," Ms Goward said.

"It not only had an impact on the mothers involved, but also fathers, brothers, sisters, broader families, and of course the children who were adopted," she said.

Ms Goward said the Government hoped that an official apology would ease pain these past practices caused women, children and families.

"While we can’t change what happened, an apology will acknowledge the role of NSW governments in practices that are now recognised as wrong," Ms Goward said.

"While thankfully these practices no longer continue, they remind us of the importance of constantly reflecting on what we do and how to improve lives," she said.


Simon Fontana - 0467 738 139

View the PDF version of this media release.

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