Forced adoptions refer to instances of adoption where a child’s parent or parents were compelled, against their will to relinquish a child for adoption. These practices occurred in Tasmania up until the 1980’s and continue to deeply affect the lives of many people.
On the 18th October 2012 the Premier of Tasmania delivered a formal apology on behalf of the Tasmanian community to mothers and fathers whose children were removed because of past forced adoption practices, and to people who were separated from their parents as infants as a result of those practices.
Along with the apology the Premier also announced a number of practical initiatives including:
- Free access to adoption records and family tracing services
- Free specialised counselling services
- Expanded assistance in accessing information from a range of sources.
Access to records is provided through Adoption Information Services and specialised counselling through Relationships Australia.
On the 11th of December 2013 the Premier unveiled ‘The Tree of Hope Memorial’ at the Tasmanian Botanical Gardens as an enduring symbol dedicated to people impacted by past adoption practices.
More information about forced adoption, the apology and memorial is included below:
- Apology Parchment
- Apology for past forced adoption – Fact sheet
- Tree of Hope Memorial
- Map of Memorial Event location
If you have been affected by past adoption practices, specialised support is available by contacting Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 or Adoption Information Services on 6166 0422.