Mission statement for the Movement for an Adoption Apology
Adopted October 3, 2011
We seek recognition and acknowledgement of the pain and grief suffered by many birth parents and their children because of the unethical adoption practices of the past. We believe that this can only be achieved by a full Parliamentary apology with cross-party support.
Explanation: For many years, until at least the 1980s, pregnancy outside marriage was severely frowned upon, and frequently young women who found themselves in this situation were given little choice but to give in to the strong pressures which were exerted on them by the authorities to have their babies adopted. They were not given information about the welfare services, including housing and financial help, which were available at the time. There was no question of these women being found to be unfit mothers; they were simply prevented from becoming mothers at all.
This experience so traumatised many of these women that they have suffered years of mental and/or physical ill health ever since, and many were unable to have more children. In some cases, fathers also, even when wishing to help, were refused a say in their child’s future, because the child was classified as illegitimate, and thus these fathers also became unwilling parties to these adoptions.
It is possible that a government enquiry will be needed to reveal the full extent of the unethical practices and the damage suffered by these birth parents. However we recognise that such an enquiry would take time to set up and therefore we ask for a start to be made now, with a parliamentary statement of intention to examine all the facts.