The debate eventually took place on Thursday 12th July, at around 14:45, which was later than first scheduled.
It is available on BBC Parliament (iPlayer) for approximately 28 days.
Coverage of the debate begins at 16:26 into the video.
Our committee of 7 arrived at the Houses of Parliament to listen to the debate. Ann Keen [ex-MP] had pulled all sorts of strings to get us seats on the floor of the house. (Something even President Trump had been unable to manage!!)
It was almost surreal actually seeing and hearing MPs standing up and speaking on our behalf.
At last there is now a record validating our experiences as you can see below in Hansard.
The next step as you see below is to meet the minister Nadhim Zahawi – Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Education:
“I am very happy to meet one or both hon. Members—the hon. Gentleman or the hon. Member for Wirral South—and if they bring the mothers with them, I can hear directly from them as well.
I hope that all those affected can take some comfort in the knowledge that what happened to them is so public and is on public record for all to see and understand. This House rightly acknowledges that this appalling historical practice has left a legacy of hurt and pain. I hope that where possible, many a mother and a child can be reunited and be given the comfort of building a family relationship.”
We began our campaign to obtain an apology for past adoption practices in 2010, after we heard that the government of Western Australia had apologized to the women and their children who had been forcibly adopted. Then each State apologized, culminating in a National Apology by Prime Minister Julia Gillard on 21st March 2013.
Here in the UK there have been many attempts to get those in power to listen, including:
- a letter from 21 eminent people which was published in The Times
- a documentary, commissioned by ITV and made by Ronachan Films, called ‘Britain’s Adoption Scandal – breaking the silence‘ – broadcast in November 2016
which led to a legal firm becoming involved with our campaign.
- The lawyers wrote formally to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd and to the Minister for Children and Families, with supporting evidence, asking for a public inquiry into past adoption practices.
The response was an outright refusal.
Undeterred, we met with Jonathan Ashworth MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Health. He readily agreed to write to Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt because of the NHS involvement, but could do no more officially. However he did suggest we seek support for a back bench debate.
Our MAA member Ann Keen RN, former MP and Labour Health Minister, contacted a good friend Alison McGovern MP. Ann and Alison had both worked with Rt Hon Gordon Brown and knew their way around the political process. Alison recruited Stephen Twigg MP and a debate for Historical Injustices in Adoption Practice was campaigned for within Parliament.
This is the result …
VICTORY!!! The debate will be on Thursday 12th July, at around 11.30am. Please note this is one hour later than the time originally posted here.
The Debate will be broadcast LIVE on the BBC Parliamentary Channel if you would like to follow it.
It has now been confirmed that the Backbench Business Committee has provisionally allocated a three hour debate on ‘The practice of forced adoption in the UK’ in the Chamber on 12 July 2018 (first debate).
“That this House recognises the pain and suffering that the historical practice of forced adoption caused many women and children; and calls on the Government to issue an apology to women and children affected by that practice. ”
We strongly encourage you to urgently email your MP and ask them to get involved.
We need as much support as possible for this landmark process.
The MAA Committee July 2018