Apology by Australian Prime Minister

Posted By Horizon Staff March 28th, 2013 in News : 0 COMMENTS

By Christina Guimera
Staff writer

Julia Gillard, the Australian Prime Minister, apologized to the thousands of unmarried mothers who were forced by the government to give their children up for adoption between the 1940s and 70s.

According to the Telegraph, tens of thousands of babies were born to unmarried women during these decades and the state gave these babies to married couples.

Many of the government officials involved at the time reasoned that they were taking babies from single mothers who probably would have had more difficulty raising the child than two economically stable parents

More than 800 victims of the policy heard Gillard apologize in the Great Hall of Parliament House, reports the Telegraph.

Prime Minister Gillard said, “Today this Parliament on behalf of the Australian people takes responsibility and apologizes for the policies and practices that forced the separation of mothers from their babies, which created a lifelong legacy of pain and suffering” (Telegraph.co.uk).

“We deplore the shameful practices that denied you, the mothers, your fundamental rights and responsibilities to love and care for your children,” she added (Telegraph.co.uk).

The realty that these generations of children were taken from their mothers causes a Christian to wonder about the moral decisions that led to this course of action being implemented.

According to the women’s accounts, the unmarried women were pressured, deceived and threatened into giving up their babies. Some women even say they were drugged or that their signatures were forged, according to the Telegraph.

Angela Barra, 45, who was adopted as a newborn said, “People were forced to give their babies up; they were drugged, they were shackled to their beds … they didn’t relinquish their babies; their babies were taken” (ABC news).

Even if these children lived more successful and happy lives due to the fact that they were raised in an economically stable household with two parents, the fact of the matter is that these single mothers were forced in the most horrible of ways to give up a child that they had a right to raise as their own.

Ms. Gillard has given about 5 million Australian dollars ($5 million) to support services for the families affected and to help the biological families reunite, reports the Telegraph. Julia Gillard’s apology and compensation to the families affected is a much-needed end to a horrifying past.

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