An estimated 150,000 children were removed from their mothers over
the period from 1950 to 2000 when adoption practices at this time had been deemed unlawful by the New South Wales Parliamentary
Inquiry Report “Releasing the Past”, the report was the result of a two and a half year Inquiry into past adoption
In Response to this contentious issue the Federal Government's
proposal was to include an apology to mothers who have lost children to "forced" or unlawful adoption practices into the Apology
given on 16th November 2009 to the "Forgotten Australians and the Child Migrants,
This apology had been intended to include mothers and their children, lost to adoption, and was in the opinion
of the committee of Origins and their members an afterthought, negating our experiences. It was also an insult to the target
groups who have already had 3 Senate Inquiries between them.
An acceptance of this apology without our own Inquiry would have meant that serious crimes committed against
us and our children would be “swept under the historical carpet forever”, and as an organisation committed to
the pursuit of human rights and justice Origins Inc could allow that to happen
As an example the NSW Government has had nearly a decade to acknowledge and apologise to mothers and
their adopted children since the tabling of the "Releasing The Past Report Adoption Inquiry 2000"
A report that was delivered after two and a half years of parliamentary investigation that found it’s
adoption practices from 1950-2000 unlawful and unethical, and still to date has done nothing by way of acknowledgement, reconciliation
or redress by the State to the 86 000, NSW mothers affected by these practices.
At a brief encounter by Origins with the NSW Minister for Department of Community Services Linda Burney
at the Forgotten Australians Apology in Canberra, when she was asked what the NSW government was going to do about
the apology for mothers and children affected by NSW adoption practices.
Her reply was "what inquiry", an off hand remark resulting in a slap across the faces of over 160 000 people
affected by adoption in NSW, and further proof that one of the greatest human rights abuses in that state was not worth the
bother of a follow up
Adding insult to injury an apology was not even included in the nineteen recommendations from that Inquiry
whether or not it was asked for.
When asked by the Chairman of the Inquiry into Adoption Practices “Do you think an apology made by
the relevant government agencies would assist the women?
Dr RICKARBY: MB BS FRANZCP Member.of the Faculty of Child Psychiatry
RANZCP MANZAP Consultant Psychiatrist Replied:
"I think it would be seen as tokenism. I would think that many of
the mothers might be even insulted by it. I think some of the large religious organisations who ran their antenatal homes
and who had practices that were very harsh; I think an apology that is sincere and comprehensive from them might do a great
deal of help towards the mothers, but I think today's government agencies putting out an apology for what was not done back
then is not helpful."
p. 72 – Rickarby Interim Report Inquiry into Adoption Practices
27/08/1198 Parliament NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social
A litany of major crimes and human rights abuses were committed against 150 000 mothers and their children
across this country and now it is their turn to finally be acknowledged through a Senate Inquiry into Past , Present and Future
Adoption Practices mothers and adoptees who have suffered decades of misery,
to a lifetime of unresolved injustice are demanding it
So on behalf of Australian
mothers and their children Origins Inc is asking that you sign our Petition