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Government to apologise over forced adoptions



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THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP Attorney-General Minister for Emergency Management

MEDIA RELEASE

23 JUNE 2012

GOVERNMENT TO APOLOGISE OVER FORCED ADOPTIONS

The Australian Government today announced it will issue a formal apology to those affected by forced adoption practices.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the Senate inquiry and report confirmed the need for the Australian Government to acknowledge the suffering of parents and children involved.

“The Government recognises the pain and suffering of parents whose children were forcibly removed, and children separated from their parents,” said Ms Roxon.

“The apology will be delivered on behalf of the nation as a significant step in the healing process for those affected.

“This national apology is a key recommendation of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee’s Report on the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices tabled on 29 February, 2012.”

Ms Roxon said a special Reference Group including birth parents and adoptees affected by forced adoption will help develop the exact timing and nature of the apology.

“I’m very pleased that distinguished former Family Court Judge and Adjunct Professor of Law at Monash University Nahum Mushin has agreed to chair this Reference Group,” Ms Roxon said.

The Reference Group is expected to meet soon to begin work on the process to an apology.

Ms Roxon said the Government continues to carefully consider the Report’s other recommendations, and will provide a full response to the Senate Inquiry later in the year.

The Government’s response to recommendations about specialised support services for those affected by forced adoption will also be informed by the Australian Institute of Family Studies’ joint National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Experiences.

This study, the largest ever into the impact of past adoption practices, is due to be finalised later this month for consideration by the Commonwealth and States and Territories.

For all media inquiries, please contact the Attorney-General’s office on 0409 945 476