'Commemoration of State and National Apologies for Past and/or Forced Adoption Policies and Practices' booklet is available on request at firstname.lastname@example.org
While an official parliamentary Apology cannot undo the pain and suffering experienced by those affected by forced adoptions of the past, each Apology acknowledges an understanding of the on-going impact of these practices. Each Apology was offered in the hope that it can and will help in the healing process for the mothers, fathers, adoptees and other family members who were adversely affected by these practices.
The following National and State/Territory Apologies were driven by ‘grassroots movements’ which lead to the formation of Committees of Enquiry, and at the national level to Senate Committee Reports.
National Parliamentary Apologies
Apology for Forced Adoptions - 21 March 2013
Apology to the Forgotten Australians and former Child Migrants – 16 November 2009
Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples - 13 February 2008
Victorian Parliamentary Apologies
Apology to Forgotten Australians and former Child Migrants – 9 August 2006
Apology to Aboriginal people for past policies under which Aboriginal children were removed from their families. - 17 September 1997. http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/vic/biogs/E000428b.htm
Apologies from Hospitals and Religious Institutions
A number of public bodies such as hospitals and religious institutions throughout Australia have also made public Apologies for the wrongs that were perpetrated in the past.
Victorian hospitals and religious institutions
20 March 2013 - Shelley Park, CEO, of Monash Health, Melbourne (on behalf of maternity hospitals now closed/merged such as the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, Prince Henry’s Hospital, Moorabbin Hospital) “acknowledged that many past adoption practices, particularly when considered against today’s standards, were clearly misguided; often based on societal attitudes and pressures rather than the best interests of mother and child ”and apologised “to every woman who felt she had no choice but to give up her baby”.
23 January 2012 – Dale Fisher, CEO, Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne apologised to relinquishing mother and acknowledged “past adoption practices caused lasting consequences for many relinquishing mothers, and sometimes also for their children and their extended families.”
February 2012 - Isabel Thomas Dobson, Moderator Victorian and Tasmanian synod of the Uniting Church (united sections of the former Presbyterian, Congregational and Methodist Churches) - “On behalf of the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania and our agencies, we apologise unreservedly for any physical, psychological or social harm that might have occurred through the past adoption practices and processes of the church''.
25 July 2011 – Martin Laverty, CEO Catholic Health Australia issued a National Apology over past adoption practices that have been described as a "national disgrace".
[i] together with representatives of religious authorities including the Catholic and Anglican churches and the Salvation Army.