Thursday September 27, 2012
Tanya Davies today met with Western Sydney resident, Cathy Murton to discuss her experience of the forced adoption policy and to personally hand Ms Murton the NSW Government's apology.
Ms Murton was born in 1954 when her mother, Shirley, was only 16. Shirley was put on a train from Oberon to a hospital in the city, where she stayed alone for 6 weeks. When she had given birth to Cathy, she was told she couldn't see or hold her, and she was put back on a train to Oberon with no information about the child she had just given birth to.
Ms Murton said she had a good and loving home with her adoptive parents, but missed out on growing up with her mother and biological siblings.
The NSW Parliament recently apologised to parents and children who suffered from the forced adoption practices of the past.
In a speech delivered by Premier Barry O’Farrell, he said “The NSW Parliament, on behalf of the people of NSW, expresses its great sorrow and remorse for the lasting damage these practices have caused in the lives of so many,”
Mrs Davies said that she understood that saying sorry could never change what happened.
"But it is our great hope that this sincere and heartfelt public apology will offer healing and comfort to those who have suffered because of the practices of the past." Mrs Davies said.
The Apology in the NSW Parliament follows recommendations made by the Parliamentary Inquiry into past adoption practices in their Releasing the Past report of 2000 and the Federal Senate Committee’s inquiry report of February 2012 entitled The Commonwealth’s Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.
Minister for Family and Community Services, Pru Goward said that the NSW Government is also implementing practical measures to help people who have been affected by forced adoption practices.
“The Department of Family and Community Services will abolish the fees that it currently charges adopted people and birth parents for the Authority they need to obtain adoption information from other organisations as well as the fees for adoption information services provided by the Department.
“Funding for the Post Adoption Resource Centre will also be increased by up to $900,000 over 3 years, dependent on need, with a particular focus on rural and regional areas.
“Currently $442,000 is provided annually to the Post Adoption Resource Centre to help support the counselling and other services they provide to people affected by past adoptions,” Ms Goward said.
The Post adoption resource centre can be contacted on 02 9339 8000 or by visiting www.bensoc.org.au/postadoption.
People who wish to access a copy of the Apology are encouraged to visit www.facs.nsw.gov.au from Friday 21 September