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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

Video footage of the day was used to create a commemorative DVD. If you would like to be sent a copy of the DVD, an apology parchment, a commemorative lapel pin or a free copy of the mp3 version of Mia Dyson's song Jesse, please email your name and postal address to or call 02 6141 3030.

A series of five commemorative journals were made available for people attending the national apology to record their comments, thoughts and reflections. The journals have now been 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.

Flickr logo National Apology for Forced Adoptions practices 2013 on Flickr

Apology manuscript

A formal manuscript of the apology was commissioned to be put on public display in Parliament House. Arrangements are being finalised for its display and details will be published here when available. The manuscript was produced by calligrapher Gemma Black.

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.

More information is available on our government response page.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is the lead agency coordinating the implementation of the government's response.

DSS has established a Forced Adoptions Implementation Working Group to advise government on services and projects related to implementing the government's response to the Senate Committee report.

For more information email or visit the Forced Adoption Practices page on the Department of Social Services website.