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Forced Adoption Support Services - Jigsaw Queensland is funded by the Australian Government to provide forced adoption support services in Queensland.

About Forced Adoption


Senate Inquiry into former forced adoption policies
and practices
In February 2012, the Senate Community Affairs References Committee released a report on the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.
The report found the policies and practices that resulted in forced adoptions and the removal of children were widespread throughout Australia, particularly during the mid-twentieth century. The senate committee inquiry received submissions from hundreds of individuals who have suffered from the effects of forced adoptions and found there were many different ways in which forced adoptions occurred. The accounts range from personal experiences of mothers drugged and shackled to beds, to social workers failing to advise mothers of the government payments available at the time to support mothers to keep their child.
Forced adoption practices impacted a large number of Australians and caused significant ongoing effects for many people, particularly mothers, fathers and adoptees. The report estimates there were 140,000 to 150,000 total adoptions in the period between 1951 and 1975, and as many as 250,000 total adoptions from 1940 to the present day. The report concuded it is impossible to know the exact number of people affected by forced adoption practices.
Australian Government Response to the Senate Inquiry Recommendations
The Government's response to the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry Report into Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices was announced in March 2013 following the National Apology.
The Australian Government committed $11.5 million over four years to assist those affected by forced adoption practices. 
  • $5 million to improve access to specialist support services including counselling and record tracing for those affected by forced adoptions
  • $5 million to:
    • ​develop guidelines and training materials for mental health professionals to assist in the diagnosis, treatment and care of those affected by forced adoption practices. For more information go to the Australian Psychological Society website. 
    • Increase capacity, under the Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program, for general practitioners to refer those affected by forced adoption practices with a mild to moderate mental disorder to mental health professionals. Please talk to your doctor if you wish to access ATAPS.
  • $1.5 million for the National Archives of Australia website and exhibition to document the experiences of those affected by forced adoption and increase the awareness and understanding of these experiences in the community.
Jigsaw Forced Adoption Support Services
In 2015, Jigsaw received funding from the Australian Government to provide forced adoption services in Queensland. For a three year period Jigsaw will deliver telephone information, referral and support, provide emotional support and assist with record searches and family tracing and offer face-to-face delivery of information where appropriate and possible. Professional staff answer calls and provide information and support and put clients in touch with a trained peer-support volunteer.
Small Grants Program
The Small Grants Program (a part of the Forced Adoption Support Service (FASS)) is aimed at building community capacity and enhancing group healing for people affected by forced adoption. Peer support and advocacy groups can apply to FASS for funding to run events / activities that are of benefit to people affected by forced adoption. Applications for small grant funding must be submitted by May 31st for activities to be held in the following financial year. To discuss potential applications and get more information about the program guidelines and application process, please phone the FASS Team Leader on 1800 21 03 13 (from within Qld) or 07 3358 6666. Alternatively you may email  
Impacts of past adoption practices
The Australian Institute of Family Studies conducted research to improve the understanding of the impacts of forced adoption practices.
Impact of past adoption practices: Summary of key issues from Australian research 2010
Past adoption experiences: National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices 2012
More Information
Forced Adoptions Implementation Working Group
Forced Adoptions Implementation Working Group Documents
Support services for people affected by forced adoption practices
Supporting people affected by forced adoption - fact sheet

Those affected by adoption can contact our Forced Adoption Support Service on 1800 21 03 13. 

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