NSW Upper House supports ongoing recognition of forced adoption practices

Greens MP and spokesperson on Family and Community Services, Jan Barham, has welcomed the NSW Legislative Council’s passage of her motion calling for recognition of forced adoption practices.

“September 20 will be the second anniversary of the NSW Government’s apology for past forced adoption practices. I am gratified and deeply moved that the Upper House has supported the call for continued acts of recognition,” Ms Barham said.

“The NSW apology, along with the apologies by the Australian Government and other states and territories, were profound acts of recognition our past mistakes. But just as the impacts of forced adoptions were lifelong, the apologies should be followed by ongoing efforts to remember and understand the harms caused to many parents and children.

“I understand that the NSW Minister, Gabrielle Upton, will take the issue forward by seeking national cooperation for an annual day of recognition. I welcome the Minister’s commitment to ongoing commemoration of forced adoption practices, and I appreciate the support for this issue among all Members of our Parliament,” Ms Barham concluded.

For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891

Motion on Forced Adoption Recognition as passed by the Legislative Council, 11 September 2014:

1. That this House commends:
(a) the NSW State Government for their delivery on Thursday 20 September 2012 of a State Apology for Forced Adoption Practices,
(b) the Commonwealth Government for their delivery on Thursday 21 March 2013 of a National Apology for Forced Adoptions, and
(c) all of the other state and territory governments of Australia, each of whom has delivered or announced their intention to deliver an apology to those affected by forced adoption practices.

2. That this House acknowledges that offering apologies for an injustice is an essential step toward reconciliation and reparation, but that apology must be followed by ongoing efforts to recognise the harms caused and to provide support to those affected.

3. That this House calls on the Government to:
(a) establish an annual Day of Recognition of Forced Adoption Practices,
(b) construct a public memorial to commemorate the apology to those affected by forced adoption practices in NSW,
(c) develop information resources and a communications strategy to raise public awareness of past forced adoption practices and the traumatic effects of forced adoptions, and to highlight the support services available to those affected by forced adoption practices.