Media Release by The Hon Dr David Gillespie MP

Commemorating the 5th anniversary of the National Apology for Forced Adoptions

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the National Apology for Forced Adoptions.

On 21 March 2013, the Australian Government formally apologised to people affected by past forced adoption policies and practices, acknowledging their suffering.

Assistant Minister for Children and Families, Dr David Gillespie, said today was a significant occasion for the Government, the Australian people and most importantly for the people affected by these practices.

“Approximately 150,000 adoptions occurred during the peak period of 1951 and 1971. Many of these adoptions were arranged without willing or informed consent, and were unethical and dishonest,” Minister Gillespie said.

“The shameful practice of forced adoption has left a lasting legacy of pain on many individuals and their families.”

Many of the federally-funded Forced Adoption Support Services (one in each state/territory) have organised local events to commemorate the apology.

These events provide an opportunity for people to commemorate and connect with other members of the community who have had similar experiences.

People affected by past Forced Adoption practices can access support in their state or territory. Support services include a national helpline, face-to-face and emotional support, records tracing and reunion mediation where possible and referrals and information based on individual needs. These activities are funded by the Federal Government and complement existing support services delivered by state and territory governments.

The Forced Adoption Support Service national helpline can be contacted on 1800 21 03 13 (which represents the date of the National Apology).

More information about Forced Adoption Support Services can be found on the DSS website.