[Sky News] July 20, 2012
Tears flow after SA adoption apology
There were tears at South Australia's parliament as Premier Jay Weatherill's government became the second in Australia to apologise to the victims of forced adoption.
Mr Weatherill says he's deeply sorry for the hurt and distress caused to people by past forced adoption practices in the state.
'We accept with profound sorrow that many mothers did not give informed consent to the adoption of their children,' he said on Wednesday.
'We recognise the practices of our past mean that there are some members of our community today who remain disconnected from their families of origin.
'We hear you now, we acknowledge your pain and we offer you our unreserved, sincere regret and sorrow for those injustices.
'To all those hurt we say sorry.'
The special sitting of parliament is being broadcast live on the internet.
In parliament, some women wept as they heard they were blamed for getting pregnant, blamed for wanting to keep their children and then blamed for succumbing to pressure to give them up.
More than 17,000 children in SA are believed to have been adopted before 1980 and some of these were forced adoptions.
'This apology is long overdue, but we hope it will be a significant moment for those affected,' he said.
Between the 1950s and the 1970s about 150,000 unmarried mothers across Australia had their babies taken against their will.
The Western Australian government has already delivered an apology to the people affected by the practice in that state and the federal government is also planning a similar move.
A national apology was one of the recommendations made by the Senate Community Affairs Committee following an inquiry into forced adoptions.
The Commonwealth has established a reference group to advise the government on the timing and nature of an apology.