You are here: Skip breadcrumbAttorney-General's Department >> About us >> Forced adoptions apology

National Apology for Forced Adoptions

National apology for forced adoptions logoOn 21 March 2013, the former Prime Minister Julia Gillard apologised on behalf of the Australian Government to people affected by forced adoption or removal policies and practices.

The national apology was delivered in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra.

Copies of the apology text are below:

A transcript of the apology and accompanying speeches and a video of the event is available on the Parliament of Australia website.

Following the event in the Great Hall, motions of apology were moved in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.

Copies of the speeches given in each chamber are below:

In the House of Representatives the motion was referred to the Federation Chamber to allow for further speakers to speak on the motion. The motion was considered in the Federation Chamber on 15 and 16 May 2013:

On 3 December 2013, the motion was passed in the House of Representatives:

In the Senate, the debate on the motion was adjourned until the winter sitting. On 14 May 2013, debate was resumed and the motion was passed:

Commemorative materials

A series of five commemorative journals were made available for people attending the national apology to record their comments, thoughts and reflections. The journals were provided to the National Archives of Australia.

Photos of the event

Photographs taken at the event are available to view and download from the Attorney-General's Department Flickr account. Participants were advised prior to the event that this was a public event and photos would be publicly available.

Flickr logo National Apology for Forced Adoptions practices 2013 on Flickr

Australian Government response to Senate Committee Inquiry

The Australian Government invested $11.5 million over four years to assist those affected by forced adoption practices as part of its response to the recommendations in the Senate inquiry report on the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is coordinating the implementation of the government's response to the Senate Committee's report. For more infomration please visit the Forced Adoption Practices page on the DSS website or email forcedadoptions@dss.gov.au.

For more infomration on the history of forced adoptions in Australia, please visit the National Archives of Australia's Forced Adoptions History Project website.

For more information on the Australian Government response, email forcedadoptions@dss.gov.au or please visit the Forced Adoption Practices page on the Department of Social Services website.