8.46 The committee recommends that a national
framework to address the consequences of former forced adoption be developed by
the Commonwealth, states and territories through the Community and Disability
Services Ministers Conference.
9.56 The committee recommends that the Commonwealth
Government issue a formal statement of apology that identifies the actions and
policies that resulted in forced adoption and acknowledges, on behalf of the
nation, the harm suffered by many parents whose children were forcibly removed
and by the children who were separated from their parents.
9.57 The committee recommends that state and
territory governments and non-government institutions that administered
adoptions should issue formal statements of apology that acknowledge practices
that were illegal or unethical, as well as other practices that contributed to
the harm suffered by many parents whose children were forcibly removed and by
the children who were separated from their parents.
9.58 The committee recommends that apologies by the
Commonwealth or by other governments and institutions should satisfy the five
criteria for formal apologies set out by the Canadian Law Commission and
previously noted by the Senate Community Affairs Committee.
9.76 The committee recommends that official
apologies should include statements that take responsibility for the past policy
choices made by institutions' leaders and staff, and not be qualified by
reference to values or professional practice during the period in question.
9.81 The committee recommends that formal apologies
should always be accompanied by undertakings to take concrete actions that
offer appropriate redress for past mistakes.
9.85 The committee recommends that a Commonwealth
formal apology be presented in a range of forms, and be widely published.
10.58 The committee recommends that the
Commonwealth, states and territories urgently determine a process to establish
affordable and regionally available specialised professional support and
counselling services to address the specific needs of those affected by former
forced adoption policies and practices.
10.59 The committee recommends that the Commonwealth
fund peer-support groups that assist people affected by former forced adoption
policies and practices to deliver services in the areas of:
public awareness of the issues;
with information searches; and
And that this funding be provided according to transparent
10.60 The committee recommends that financial
contributions be sought from state and territory governments, institutions, and
organisations that were involved in the practice of placing children of single
mothers for adoption to support the funding of services described in the
previous two recommendations.
11.36 The committee recommends that the Commonwealth
should lead discussions with states and territories to consider the issues
surrounding the establishment and funding of financial reparation schemes.
11.43 The committee recommends that institutions and
governments that had responsibility for adoption activities in the period from
the 1950s to the 1970s establish grievance mechanisms that will allow the
hearing of complaints and, where evidence is established of wrongdoing, ensure
redress is available. Accessing grievance mechanisms should not be
conditional on waiving any right to legal action.
12.33 The committee recommends that
jurisdictions adopt integrated birth certificates, that these be issued to
eligible people upon request, and that they be legal proof of identity of equal
status to other birth certificates, and
investigate harmonisation of births, deaths and marriages register access and
the facilitation of a single national access point to those registers.
12.36 The committee recommends that:
jurisdictions adopt a process for allowing the names of fathers to be added to
original birth certificates of children who were subsequently adopted and for
whom fathers' identities were not originally recorded; and
that any prescribed conditions are met, the process be administrative and not
require an order of a court.
12.104 The committee recommends that the Community and
Disability Services Ministers Conference agree on, and implement in their
jurisdictions, new principles to govern post-adoption information and contact
for pre-reform era adoptions, and that these principles include that:
adult parties to an adoption be permitted identifying information;
parties have an ability to regulate contact, but that there be an upper limit
on how long restrictions on contact can be in place without renewal; and
jurisdictions provide an information and mediation service to assist parties to
adoption who are seeking information and contact.
12.114 The committee recommends that the Commonwealth
provide funding to extend the existing program for family tracing and support
services to include adoption records and policies, with organisations such as
Link-Up Queensland and Jigsaw used as a blueprint.
12.115 The committee recommends that the states and
territories extend their Find and Connect information service to include
adoption service providers.
12.116 The committee recommends that non-government
organisations with responsibility for former adoption service providers (such
as private hospitals or maternity homes) establish projects to identify all
records still in their possession, make information about those institutions
and records available to state and territory Find and Connect services, and
provide free access to individuals seeking their own records.
12.123 The committee recommends that the Community and
Disability Services Ministers Conference, in consultation with non-government
organisations that had responsibility for adoption services and hospitals,
agree on and commit to a statement of principles for access to personal
information, that would include a commitment to cheaper and easier searches
of, and access to, organisational records.
13.9 The committee recommends that the Commonwealth
commission an exhibition documenting the experiences of those affected by
former forced adoption policies and practices.
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