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Australia formally delivers national apology for forced adoptions

Published on Mar 21, 2013 9:15 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia on Thursday formally apologised for the forced adoption of tens of thousands of babies born mostly to unmarried mothers between the 1950s and 1970s.

The adoptions, driven largely by religious groups in the post-war period, "created a lifelong legacy of pain and suffering", the national apology delivered by Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.

"To you, the mothers who were betrayed by a system that gave you no choice and subjected you to manipulation, mistreatment and malpractice, we apologise," she said.

"We say sorry to you, the mothers who were denied knowledge of your rights, which meant you could not provide informed consent. You were given false assurances. You were forced to endure the coercion and brutality of practices that were unethical, dishonest and in many cases illegal."

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