The ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher presented a formal apology to people who have been affected by past forced adoption practices in Australia from the late 1940s through to the 1980s on the 14th August 2012 at the ACT Legislative Assembly in Canberra. The apology by the ACT Government acknowledged that commonwealth policies signifantly affected people within the Canberra community.
This is the text of the formal apology made by the ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher in the ACT Legislative Assembly on the 14th of August 2012:
The ACT Legislative Assembly acknowledges, with deep regret, that past practices of forced removal and adoption have caused great pain and suffering to mothers and their children, who are now adults.
We recognise that past practices have profoundly affected the lives of not only these people but also fathers, grandparents, siblings, partners and other family members.
We acknowledge the life-long impact of this separation: the grief, trauma, loss, disconnection and unwarranted shame, guilt and secrecy.
To those mothers who had their babies taken from them, who were denied the opportunity to care for their child, who were not informed of their rights, nor provided with the support that mothers need, we are deeply sorry for this injustice and all the harm it has caused.
To the adopted children, who are now adults, and who were denied the opportunity to grow up with, and be cared for by their parents and families, we offer you our sincere and unreserved apology.
To those ACT families, past and present, separated by an adoption that was forced upon them, the Assembly expresses its heartfelt sympathy and is sorry.
We are committed to providing support, counselling and assistance to ACT families who are parties to an adoption, and to ensuring that the flawed adoption practices of our community's past are not repeated.
Prepared by: Lydia Connell
Created: 28 August 2012, Last modified: 26 July 2023