Gillard says sorry for forced adoption policies
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, right, has delivered a historic national apology in Parliament to the thousands of unwed mothers who were forced by government policies to give up their babies for adoption over several decades.
More than 800 people affected by the policy cried and cheered as they listened to the apology in the Great Hall of Parliament House. They responded with a standing ovation when it was finished.
A national apology was recommended a year ago by a Senate committee that investigated the impacts of the now-discredited policies.
Unwed mothers were pressured and deceived into giving up their babies from World War Two until the early 1970s so they could be adopted by married couples, which was perceived to be in the children's best interests, the committee report found.