Government Apologies for Forced Adoption

Why do Government Apologies for Forced Adoption Matter?

Official Government apologies for forced adoption acknowledge the harm caused by forced adoption policies and practices. It recognises the trauma and suffering experienced by adoptees, mothers, fathers, and wider family members separated from their families without consent.

Validation of the experiences of affected individuals

Government apologies validate the experiences of those who have been impacted by forced adoption. Adoptees and their biological mothers have been subject to discrimination throughout their lives. Mothers were told they were not worthy of having children, and adoptees grew up, being told that their parents did not want them.

Restitution and redress

Apologies can be accompanied by concrete measures of restitution and redress, such as, access to records, and the establishment of proper independent support services for those affected by forced adoption. These measures can help survivors heal and move forward.

Prevention of future harm

Government apologies can serve as a reminder of the importance of protecting the human rights of all individuals, regardless of their social status or circumstances.

Lessons can be learned and adoption can be replaced by ethical guardianship practices that

  • prioritise the best interests of the child;
  • respect the rights of birth parents;
  • provide support to adoptees throughout their lives.

Forced Adoption Apologies from Around the World

The UK Government has refused to issue an apology for forced adoption, despite many other countries and organisations around the world leading the way.

April 2023 | Wales
March 2023 | Scotland

Forced Adoption Apologies from Charities and Religious Organisations

March 2022 | Ministers in Northern Ireland and institutional representatives apologised for abuse in church and state-run institutions
March 2022 | Barnardo’s apologised for their role in institutional abuse in Northern Ireland
April 2019 | Belgium’s Government apologised for its role in the abduction of children from Congo
November 2016 | the Roman Catholic Church apologised for its role in forced adoptions as part of a documentary