Mothers' advocacy groups have tirelessly lobbied for recognition and acknowledgment of the harm these polices and practices have caused, building momentum which initially led to two State Government inquiries into past adoption practices in Australia.
In October 2010, Western Australia was the first state to offer an apology to people affected by forced adoption.
And in February 2012, the Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee (SCARC) tabled a ground-breaking Report into the Australian Government's involvement in past forced adoption practices. This Report followed an 18-month Inquiry in which hundreds of people gave evidence.
Following the Report, all the remaining state and territory parliaments, apart from the Northern Territory, offered their own apologies, and in March 2013 in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra in front of 800 people, then Prime Minister Julia Gillard offered an Apology on behalf of the Federal Government to all people affected by the policies and practices of forced adoption. Motions of apology were subsequently moved in both houses of Parliament and carried by Members and Senators rising in their places.
Directly resulting from the SCARC Report, the Australian Psychological Society, with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health, has developed a national online training program to support health professionals working with people who have been affected by forced adoption policies and practices in Australia. Read more about the training here.