Media Release by The Hon Michelle Landry MP

Commemorating the 6th anniversary of the National Apology for Forced Adoptions

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

On 21 March 2013, the Government formally apologised to people affected by past forced adoption policies and practices in Australia.

Assistant Minister for Children and Families, Michelle Landry, 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 Landry said.

“This has left a lasting legacy of pain for 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.

“I recognise that the pain and suffering caused by past forced adoption practices continue to affect mothers, fathers, adoptees and other family members, and I encourage all those affected to make contact with our support services ,” Ms Landry said.

Support services include a national helpline, face-to-face and emotional support, records searching, family tracing, group activities, and referrals and information based on individual needs. These activities are funded by the Commonwealth 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.

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