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Stories from the mothers who had their babies taken away

Stories from the mothers who had their babies taken awayby Amber JamiesonAbout 150,000 babies were put up for adoption in Australia during 1951-1975, the large majority from single, unwed girls and women. The practice of “forced adoptions” involving coercion and institutional policies that encouraged babies to be taken away from their mothers, has been the focus for a Senate committee for the past 18 months.Yesterday the Community Affairs committee tabled it’s final report, Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices, to the Senate yesterday. The committee calls for a formal apology to given by the federal government that identifies that actions and policies that encouraged forced adoptions.The report is largely based on the 418 submissions received from individuals and organisations explaining their own personal experiences of having their babies removed from them. Here is a selection of some of those submissions, which explain just what it was like for a young Australian girl or woman in the 1950s-mid 1970s facing pregnancy as an unwed mother:

What happened when they found out they were pregnant?

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