Queenslander's Reflect on Forced Adoption Apology
27 Nov 2016
The Queensland Post Adoption Working Committee (Jigsaw Queensland, The Benevolent
Society, ALAS, Origins and Association for Adoptees Inc) hosted a commemorative
morning tea on 27 November to acknowledge the 4th anniversary of the Queensland apology
for past forced adoption policies and practices at Memorial Corner in the Roma Street
The historic apology was made in the Queensland parliament in 2012 in front of hundreds of
affected men and women, with the hope it would ease some of the resulting pain and raise
awareness of the long-term impacts of these common practices during the 1950s to 1970s.
The 2012 Commonwealth Senate Committee Inquiry found that forced adoptions which
compelled or forced women to give up their children to adoption were widespread in Australia
during this period and the emotional damage caused by the practice remains prevalent to this
Between 1951 and 1975 an estimated 140,000 to 150,000 adoptions took place in Australia,
but it is unknown how many of these were forced adoptions. The apology acknowledged the
shame, guilt and secrecy carried for too long in silence.
The Hon. Shannon Fentiman, Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence spoke at the morning tea and post-adoption stakeholders reflected on the apology four years on.
Jigsaw President, Dr Trevor Jordan said the apology gave people who were affected an opportunity to speak about their experiences and feel believed.
"For many, rebuilding relationships and identities shattered by the forced adoption experience is emotionally and practically difficult," he said.
“They may need help accessing records from government agencies who were formally responsible for past adoption. They may also need both peer support from someone who shares their experience and support from professionals who are fully informed about forced adoption and its impacts.
“Jigsaw Queensland provides such peer and professional support to Queenslanders affected through its Forced Adoption Support Service on 1800 21 03 13.”
Media contact: Dr Jo-Ann Sparrow – 0438 309 096