You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Australia urged to apologize for forced adoptions

CANBERRA, Australia - A Senate inquiry called yesterday for the Australian government to apologize to and compensate thousands of unwed mothers who were forced to give up their babies for adoption in the mid-20th century.

About 100 mothers who gave up babies, and adults who had been adopted, sat in the Senate public gallery, applauding or weeping as the report was read.

Continue reading below

Unwed mothers were pressured, deceived, and threatened into giving up their babies from World War II until the early 1970s so the infants could be adopted by married couples, which was perceived to be in the children’s best interests, the Senate committee report found.

“If it wasn’t illegal, it was unethical,’’ said the committee chairwoman, Senator Rachel Siewert. “The evidence . . . tells the accounts of mothers and fathers who were pressured into giving up their babies by their families, by institutions - both state and territory and private institutions - by social workers, doctors, nurses, and those who they rightly expected to have helped them.’’

Robin Turner, 61, one of the mothers in attendance, wanted only public recognition of the injustice she suffered in ’67 when her newborn son was taken from her at a hospital.

“Acknowledgment,’’ she said. “I want the Australian public to know what happened to us.’’

The seven-member Senate committee began investigating the federal government’s role in forced adoption in 2010 after the Western Australian state parliament apologized to mothers and children for the flawed practices in that state from the 1940s until the 1980s.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.