Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has delivered a historic national apology in parliament to the thousands of unwed mothers who were forced by government policies to give up their babies for adoption over several decades, reports Al Jazeera
“A national apology was recommended a year ago by a senate committee that investigated the impacts of the now-discredited policies.
Unwed mothers were pressured, deceived and threatened into giving up their babies from World War II until the early 1970s so they could be adopted by married couples, which was perceived to be in the children’s best interests, the committee report found. “Today this Parliament on behalf of the Australian people takes responsibility and apologises for the policies and practises that forced the separation of mothers from their babies, which created a lifelong legacy of pain and suffering,” Gillard told the audience.
“We acknowledge the profound effects of these policies and practises on fathers and we recognise the hurt these actions caused to brothers and sisters, grandparents, partners and extended family members,” she said. “We deplore the shameful practises that denied you, the mothers, your fundamental rights and responsibilities to love and care for your children,” she added.”