Over the course of several decades, nearly 200,000 women in the United Kingdom (UK) were coerced into relinquishing their babies for adoption. Now they are demanding an apology.
From the 1950s through the 1970s, the UK government enforced a policy of forced adoption, which involved taking babies from their mothers against their will. The traumatizing effects of this policy have lingered for decades, with many victims still struggling to cope. Now, the mothers affected by the policy are calling on Parliament to demand a public apology from the government for the harm caused by this policy.
In 2022, a parliamentary committee on human rights found that the government held full responsibility for the harm inflicted by public institutions and state employees during the cruel practice of forced adoption. The committee recommended that the government issue an official apology to the victims.
Although the government expressed remorse “on behalf of society” for the events that occurred, it has yet to formally apologize.
Diana Defries was 16 in 1974, when she became pregnant and was sent to a mother-and-baby home. She was separated from her newborn daughter, Stephanie, who was taken away just 12 days after her birth. Stephanie’s abrupt removal was a traumatic experience for Defries, who recalled feeling her knees give way at the time.
Despite the emotional pain, Defries kept her loss a secret for years, as she was pressured into silence and made to feel ashamed. When Stephanie turned 18, she reached out to her birth mother, and the two eventually forged a close bond.
Looking back, Defries recognized that the forced separation was an injustice, and she lamented the ongoing impact on those affected. “I spent a lot of years being angry,” she said. “Only later did I realize it was an injustice. So many of us were sworn to secrecy, shamed into silence. There are people still searching, still suffering loss and grief. Some are now quite elderly and still dealing with ongoing distress.”
This year, the Scottish and Welsh governments made formal apologies to those affected by forced adoption policies within their respective countries. This gesture marked an important step towards acknowledging the harm caused by these practices and taking responsibility for them.
Ten years prior, in 2013, Australia issued a public apology for its forced adoption policies, which similarly separated mothers and children. This apology was a vital part of the country’s efforts to reconcile with those affected, and to begin addressing the long-term impact of these policies.
As Live Action News previously reported, the reality is that, while forced adoption has ended and women are speaking up against the injustice, it has been replaced by another form of separation: abortion. Today, pro-abortion institutions like Planned Parenthood continue to promote abortion, particularly to poor women and minorities.
The repercussions of forced adoptions have been devastating, leaving emotional scars and lingering psychological trauma. Similarly, abortion is known to have far-reaching consequences. As time passes, it becomes increasingly clear that both practices have caused immense harm to mothers and children — and society as a whole — leaving behind a painful legacy that cannot be easily erased.
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