Australian PM Gillard Apologizes To Victims Of Forced Adoption

This twenty minute video (below) contains the entire speech by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on March 21, 2013, where she on behalf of the Australian nation apologizes to victims of forced adoption, both the children and their mothers and fathers. This is a historical moment, the first and so far the most important admission of a government to such wrongdoings.

The speech touches upon most if not all aspects of forced adoption in heart-wrenching detail.

“[…] Churches and charities, families, medical staff and bureaucrats struck at the most primal and sacred bond there is: the bond between a mother and her baby.”

The adoption methods described in the speech are brutal, and strikingly similar to those that have been revealed through investigations in Korea, and are most likely present in many other countries as well.

“For the most part, the women who lost their babies were young and vulnerable.

“They were often pressurised and sometimes even drugged.

“They faced so many voices telling them to surrender, even though their own lonely voice shouted from the depths of their being to hold on to the new life they had created.”

No apology is complete without a promise and commitment to make matters right, and to do better in the future.

“To redress the shameful mistakes of the past, we are committed to ensuring that all those affected get the help they need, including access to specialist counselling services and support, the ability to find the truth in freely available records and assistance in reconnecting with lost family.

“We resolve, as a nation, to do all in our power to make sure these practices are never repeated. In facing future challenges, we will remember the lessons of family separation. Our focus will be on protecting the fundamental rights of children and on the importance of the child’s right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

“With profound sadness and remorse, we offer you all our unreserved apology.”

The rest of the world would do well to follow Australia’s lead in this matter.




Baby-Exporting Nation (video)

“This is the first critical documentary to come out of Korea about inter-country adoption. Aired May 2005 in Korea. English subtitles KBS synopsis: A 20-year-old unwed mother asked the In-Depth 60 minutes team to help her find her baby. According to her, the baby was taken by an adoption agency without her consent, as soon as she gave birth at an Ob&Gyn Clinic. The transaction of money in the background was traced between the clinic and the adoption agency related to this. Why is money involved to secure babies for adoption? 2300 children are adopted abroad among a total of 3800 adoptions annually. Human rights organizations criticize the government’s encouragement of exporting babies. Especially, overseas adoptions have a lot of problems due to the lack of a proper system to provide post adoption services. This is a shameful portrait of Korea, the world’s 10th biggest economy and a member of OECD. In-depth 60 Minutes is investigating the truth of rumours regarding overseas adoption through shocking stories of unwed mothers who were robbed of their name of “mother” and through the voices of adoptees who are returning to Korea.”

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