National Apology for Forced Adoptions

National Apology for Forced Adoptions (Australian Government: Attorney Generals)

On 21 March 2013, the former Prime Minister Julia Gillard apologised on behalf of the Australian Government to people affected by forced adoption or removal policies and practices.

The national apology was delivered in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra.

Copies of the apology text are below:

A transcript of the apology and accompanying speeches and a video of the event is available on the Parliament of Australia website.

Following the event in the Great Hall, motions of apology were moved in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.

Copies of the speeches given in each chamber are below:

In the House of Representatives the motion was referred to the Federation Chamber to allow for further speakers to speak on the motion. The motion was considered in the Federation Chamber on 15 and 16 May 2013:

On 3 December 2013, the motion was passed in the House of Representatives:

In the Senate, the debate on the motion was adjourned until the winter sitting. On 14 May 2013, debate was resumed and the motion was passed:

Photos of the event: Photographs taken at the event are available to view and download from the Attorney-General's Department Flickr account.

National Apology for Forced Adoptions practices 2013 on Flickr

Apology manuscript: A formal manuscript of the apology was commissioned to be put on public display in Parliament House. The manuscript was produced by calligrapher Gemma Black.

Australian Government response to Senate Committee Inquiry: The Australian Government invested $11.5 million over four years to assist those affected by forced adoption practices as part of its response to the recommendations in the Senate inquiry report on the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.

More information is available on our government response page.

Forced Adoption Practices (Australian Government: Social Services)

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is the lead agency coordinating the implementation of the government's response.

DSS has established a Forced Adoptions Implementation Working Group to advise government on services and projects related to implementing the government's response to the Senate Committee report.

The full transcript of the speech is available online.

On 20 March 2014 the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition acknowledged the first anniversary of the National Apology in the House of Representatives. The anniversary was also acknowledged in the Senate.

The centrepiece of the first anniversary was the launch of the Forced Adoptions History Project website developed by the National Archives of Australia.

On the website people can:

  • Share forced adoption experiences
  • Learn about the effects of forced adoptions
  • Delve into the history of forced adoptions
  • Find contact details for support services

As part of the launch, Minister Andrews unveiled the framed National Forced Adoptions Apology parchment. The parchment will go on display in the Members Hall of Parliament House.

The following Commemorative memorabilia is available upon request:

  • National Apology lapel pins
  • Prints of the National Apology parchment
  • National Apology DVD
  • Forced Adoptions History Project bookmarks

Contact: Attorney Generals

Contact: Social Services

Contact: Forced Adoptions History Project

(Sourced:  Australia Government)