Thursday, October 4, 2012

Special Reference Group for National Apology

 the national apology is a key recommendation of the Senate Committee Report into the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices (the Report) released on 29 February 2012, and will be delivered on behalf of the nation as a significant step in the healing process of those affected. I would like to assure you that the views and experiences of those affected by past adoption practices, like yourself, will be closely considered in the development of the national apology.

A special Reference Group has been established to help develop the timing and nature of the apology. The Group comprises Parliamentarians and representatives of those affected by the adoption practices, including three mothers, a father and two adoptees. The Reference Group held meetings on 16 August and 19 September 2012. Your concerns and suggestions will also be passed onto the Chair of the Reference Group for the Group’s consideration at future meetings.

In your email you make particular mention of birth certificates and certificates of registration. One of the key recommendations from the Senate Committee Report is that “all 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 jurisdictions investigate harmonisation of births, deaths and marriages register access and the facilitation of a single national access point to those registers”. The Government is considering this recommendation along with the Report’s other recommendation and will provide a full response to the Report in early 2013.

Further information on the composition and work of the Reference Group, as well as the Government’s response to the Report, is available on our website. If you would like to be kept informed about the Government’s development of the apology please email to be added to the mailing list


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