Australia says sorry to mothers pressured into adoptions
Sydney - The Australian government on Thursday said sorry for its part in around 150,000 newborns being forcibly put up for adoption by mostly unmarried, teenage mothers in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.More than 800 women were in Parliament House to hear Prime Minister Julia Gillard say that pressure to give babies to childless couples "struck at the most sacred bond there is - the bond between a mother and her baby."
The federal parliament is the last official body to apologize. All six states have done so, as has the Catholic Church that ran many of the hospitals where women were cheated or coerced into surrendering their babies for adoption.
"It’s something we’ve done and it’s something we’ve been calling on the federal government to do," Catholic Health Australia spokesman Gavin Abraham said.
Gillard spoke of a "story of suffering and unbearable loss" that had gone on to become "a story of strength as those affected by forced adoptions found their voice, organized and shared their experiences."//DPA