ALISON ANDERSON - MINISTER FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
Minister for Children and Families, Alison Anderson, said the Northern Territory Government supported today’s Commonwealth Government apology on behalf of the nation to people affected by forced adoptions.
“The apology for the nation is especially welcome in the case of the Territory as we were under Commonwealth administration when these forced adoptions occurred.
“The Northern Territory Government acknowledges that past practices of forced removal and adoption caused great pain to mothers, fathers and babies and to other family members who they were separated from.
“We offer our heartfelt sympathy to all those Territory families, past and present, who were separated by an adoption that was forced upon them.
“These policies and practices did not continue after the Territory became self governing in 1978.
“Therefore the Government decided against making a separate apology, it is our view that it would be inappropriate and indeed disenguous.
“Not only did the new Territory Government close down various children’s institutions, such as Retta Dixon Children’s Home and Dundas House, it imposed a moratorium on adoption while policy was revised and the law amended.
“The apology today from Prime Minister Julia Gillard results from a Senate Community Affairs Committee inquiry which concluded the policies and practices that resulted in forced adoptions were widespread throughout Australia in the post-war period.
"From the 1940s till the mid-1970s Australian women who bore children out of wedlock were subject to society’s condemnation – to an ostracism that seems difficult for us to understand today.”
Judith Hughey 8928 6619 or 0409 863883