Monday, July 25, 2011

Australian Catholic hospitals apologise for forced adoptions

Adoptions forced on unmarried mothers

The Catholic Church has apologized for it's involvement in forced adoptions between the 1950's and 1970's in Australia. Mothers deemed unfit to raise children by the Catholic run hospitals were allegedly drugged, and unable to view their child during labour.

"We acknowledge the pain of separation and loss felt then and felt now by the mothers, fathers, children, families and others involved in the practices of the time," the Church said in a statement. "For this pain we are genuinely sorry."

Most of the women were young, mostly teenagers with unplanned pregnancies. They were allegedly not told of single parents benefits or the right to revoke the adoption. The newly born babies were whisked away after delivery to families more "fit" to care for them.

The Western Australian Government has also apologized for its involvement in this embarrassing practice.

"The evidence that's come forward really speaks to a shameful and regretful time in the history of healthcare in Australia," said chief executive for Catholic Health Australia  Martin Laverty. "It wasn't just a small number of hospitals. We now know that there were many hospitals across Australia."

On top of the apology, the Church also called on the Australian government to establish "a fund for remedying established wrongs," and a national program to help mothers and children affected by the abusive practices.

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