Consider the payment of compensation to the mothers subjected to former forced adoption policies.
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Between 1951 and 1985, an estimated 150,000-250,000 children were born in Australia and adopted forcibly.
Owing to a range of social and economic factors prevalent at the time, adoptions were commonly arranged for the babies of single mothers. In many cases, religious organisations that offered accommodation for young single pregnant women concurrently organised adoptions. Governments at both a State and Federal level adopted a laissez-faire approach to this practice. Numerous inquiries have since concluded that the range of practices involved were unlawful. For the relinquishing mothers involved, post-adoption, a large proportion suffered emotional and physical trauma, post-traumatic stress and in other more grave cases, self-harm, suicide and abuse. In the ensuing years, many of these women have passed away.
The Community Affairs References Committee's response to the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Adoption Policies and Practices recommended that 'the Commonwealth should take a lead role in addressing their consequences'. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered an official apology to relinquishing mothers on 21 March, 2013. That was over 5 years ago and little has changed.
We now call on The Minister For Women, the Leader Of The Federal Oppostion and the Australian Catholic Church to recommend to Parliament that the government and Church work together to ensure that compensation is paid to the remaining mothers who were victims of these unjust policies and practices.
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