Rachel Siewert.
Rachel Siewert.

Apology call over forced adoption

A SENATE committee has recommended the Federal Government apologise to women who were forced to give up their babies between the 1950s and the 1970s.

About 150,000 unmarried mothers had their babies taken against their will.

Over 18 months, a Senate committee investigated the government's involvement in past forced adoption practices.

Its report was tabled in the upper house on Wednesday.

There are 20 recommendations, including a formal apology to mothers and children who were the victims of forced adoption.

Australian Greens senator Rachel Siewert, who chaired the inquiry, broke down as she tabled the report.

"It is undoubted that past policies and practices have caused great harm and hurt to mothers, fathers, adoptees and their family members," she told the chamber.

"It is time for governments and institutions involved to accept that such actions were wrong, not merely by today's standards but by the values and laws of the time."

The report's other recommendations include setting up government-funded peer support groups to help victims, money for family tracing services and new birth certificates for adoptees.


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