Victorian forced adoption redress scheme welcome but should be nation-wide

10th Mar 2022

A redress scheme in Victoria to support those affected by historical forced adoption practices is welcome, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA), but it should be nation-wide.

“The abuse that occurred in hospitals, religious organisations and other charities has scarred these women, and their children, for life,” said Greg Barns SC, who has acted for mothers seeking compensation and is a national spokesperson, ALA.

“The sorts of practices that occurred were horrific and, even by the standards of the times, amounted to assaults, duress and other breaches of the law.”

“We welcome the Victorian Government’s decision to recognise the hurt and suffering that forced adoption practices caused, and to provide financial recompense and other practical support including counselling.

“A redress scheme allows victims who don't wish to pursue a lawsuit to receive compensation without having to prove negligence or participate in potentially extended legal action. Many mothers who suffered from these adoption practices are now in the 60s and 70s and have been waiting too long already for their suffering to be fully acknowledged.

“Other states and territories must follow Victoria’s lead and develop redress schemes to financially acknowledge the serious harm caused by forced adoption.”

The federal government delivered a national apology in 2013 to the thousands of unwed mothers who were forced by government policies to give up their babies for adoption.

Tags: Compensation Victoria adoption