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Origins Benchmark for 'Forced Adoption' Apologies

For Immediate Release:
Origins SPSA : Apology Must Fully Acknowledge Past Wrongs

Sydney, NSW, 26th June, 2012 - A representative of Origins Supporting People Separated by Adoption (SPSA) will attend a special Reference Group in the near future to help develop the timing and the nature of a national forced adoption apology.

The apology to be delivered by the Federal Government on behalf of the nation to those impacted by forced adoption was announced by the Attorney General’s department on the 23rd of June.

Lily Arthur of Origins (SPSA) said the organisation's intention in attending the special Reference Group will be to make sure that the national forced adoption apology includes a candid admission of the breaches of the common law and is not just an expression of sympathy.

"Origins will attend meetings of the Reference Group to ensure that it conforms to Senate Committee guidelines for future apologies, which are described in the Final Report of the recent Australian Senate Inquiry into forced adoption," said Ms Arthur.

"Admission of the breaches of the law should be backed up by actions taking responsibility for the damage caused to families separated by forced adoption."

Origins (SPSA) has rejected several forced adoption apologies to date including that offered by the Western Australian Government in 2010, instead campaigning for the national inquiry which handed down its Final Report on the 29th of February .

The committee of Origins (SPSA) made several submissions to the Inquiry including a restatement of objections to past apologies, and these were taken on board by the Senate Community Affairs References Committee.

Among its objections was the failure of past apologies to unequivocally acknowledge that forced adoption policies and practices were unlawful and unethical.

"Our primary objection to apologies offered to date is that they have not acknowledged the breaches of common law," said Ms Arthur.

For a detailed analysis of past forced adoption apologies and what future ones will need to encompass, visit Origins website:


Origins (SPSA) is an incorporated charity which now has affiliates in several English-speaking nations including Canada where forced adoption also occurred. Members of Origins have been politically active in campaigning governments to inquire into past forced adoption practices, successfully lobbying for an inquiry into past adoption practices in NSW in 2000. Origins (SPSA) has consistently maintained the need for acknowledgement, accountability and redress of past forced adoption providers since its founding in 1995.

For further information see page 2

Media Inquiries

For an interview phone Lily Arthur – : (02) 9604 9352