Scottish Government – New Questionnaire on Historical Adoption Experiences
Following months of consultation between Scottish government officials and representatives of those impacted by historical forced adoption a questionnaire has been published to the Scottish Government website. We encourage all mothers and family members to submit evidence of their experiences and/or needs either using the questionnaire or directly using the contact details.
The Scottish Government acknowledge on their webpage:
“Sadly, we know that there were practices in place in Scotland around the time of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s which resulted in new-born babies being unnecessarily taken away from unmarried mothers and placed for adoption, without any regard to the mothers and children’s own needs or wishes. People who experienced this have reported the long-lasting impacts on their health and wellbeing.”
While it’s taken far too long for the Scottish Government to begin to acknowledge the issues, we are feeling cautiously optimistic of a useful outcome.
The combined efforts of our small, determined group appear to have been worthwhile. This time last year neither of us could even have dreamed that we would be working together, attending meetings with Scottish Government officials, receiving support from some of our regional MSPs and increasing press awareness of the quest for an apology and our recommendations for support.
We presented a total of 15 recommendations to the Scottish Government; the four main recommendations are:
A National Scottish Apology
A National framework to enable every council to provide standardised, appropriate, trauma-based therapy or counselling services
A National strategy for the harmonisation of all birth record access and reunion services across all local authorities
A National Record of Historic Forced Adoption Experiences
So many in Scotland and the rest of the UK have contributed to this outcome and we are grateful to them all.
JCHR Historic Adoption inquiry
Although the criteria of survey which was launched last year invited responses only from people in England and Wales, we felt strongly that we wanted to support our southern friends with this inquiry. We made a submission but haven’t heard yet if our submission was accepted. We listened with interest to evidence from the academics and look forward to the next stages which include oral evidence from mothers and children.
Having been contacted by others impacted we would like to explore the possibility of getting a peer support group started. We will continue as well to try and engage with Scottish Government staff, MSPs and anyone else who would like to be involved.
Elspeth, Jeannot, Lisa and Sharon