Reported in the The Church of England Newspaper (religiousintelligence.org)…
The Diocese of Brisbane has offered its apology to those harmed by forced adoptions.
The diocese “sincerely apologises to the mothers, fathers and babies, now adults, who have experienced hurt, distress and harm as a result of past forced adoption practices in homes which operated in the name of the Church. We are aware that these practices occurred at St Mary’s Home at Toowong and the Church of England Women’s Refuge in Spring Hill,” the statement printed on the diocesan website said.
An Australian Senate inquiry found forced adoptions were widespread across Australia from the 1950s to the 1970s for unwed or unfit mothers. In February the senate recommended church agencies, the government and other entities involved in coercing unwed mothers to give up their children for adoption offer an apology for their actions.
It was “with deep sadness and regret, this Diocese acknowledges that mothers suffered emotional trauma and abuse in these adoption processes. We apologise that they were subjected to shame, isolation and humiliation while in the care of homes operated by the Anglican Church. The Church acknowledges that the resulting grief and loss for both parents and children is ongoing and significant.”
From the Anglican Diocese in Brisbane, Anglican Church of Australia you can read the actual written apology dated 31 August 2012.
From everything I have read, the practices in Australia mirrored those in New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Spain, the USA, and elsewhere. Acknowledging and admitting the mistakes and actions of the past, and the harm done, is the first step to making a better future, a different future. A future where anytime someone is tempted to wander down the slippery slope to coercion – they will be reminded it is wrong, or others will tell them it is wrong. A future where Best Practices requires non-directive counseling for mothers by counselors who have no stake in adoption, or whether the mother chooses parenting or adoption. All the countries that have this in their history – need to step up to the plate and do the right thing, and acknowledge their part in it.