Friday, December 21, 2012

The Power of One.

Professor Ian Jones,
Obstetrician and Executive Director
Women’s and Newborn Services,
Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

On 19th May 2009 gave this apology acknowledging Forced Adoption Pratices.

 Thank you for meeting with senior members of Women's and Newborn Services at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital on 10 February 2009 and sharing your stories with us about the care you received at the Royal Women's Hospital some time ago. It was very moving and indeed saddening to hear how your experiences have adversely affected your lives, and many other lives that are near and dear to you.
From our frank discussions, we understand that each of you was denied the right to experience the natural relationship between mother and child to care for and to raise your children yourselves, but because of hospital practices were not permitted to do so.
In summary you have described to us how your much wanted babies were taken from you by the practices of the hospital operating at the time and that you feel you were coerced by hospital staff to sign over your babies for adoption.
In this regard we acknowledge the hurt and suffering you have described and sincerely apologise for any ill treatment experienced by you as single women during your pregnancy and confinement at the Royal Women's Hospital.

This apology was the first in Australia to recognise this dark history in Queensland.

Western Australia Parliament recognised the importance of this apology and mentioned its significance in their apology for Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.

When the Queensland Government called for recommendations for our Queensland Apology, ALAS asked for the apology from Professor Ian Jones to be recognised for the significant part it has played in making Australia accountable for its dark history of forced adoption policies and practices. Premier Newman did not do this. With the apology from Professor Ian Jones, the public heard for the first time, that mothers did not “give away” their babies en mass, they were in fact, coerced by many different practices. Queensland has 35,766 known adoptions. We know this figure is much higher but we only have Government records for the period 1945 to 1980. This was researched by Joanne Clarke.
We are pleased to see the word, “illegal” in our written apology. Another first for Queensland. ALAS did asked to have three words included in the written apology, Illegal, Immoral and unethical. The speakers between them said these words but, when the public, both present and future look at our Apology which will hang in Parliament, they will not understand the full impact of Forced Adoptions. It is however recorded in Hansard and we hope schools and universities and the public will take the time to read these speeches from our Politicians.

ALAS will ask the Prime Minister Julia Gillard to see the importance of this first apology as being, “the flame that lit the fire.”
Senator Claire Moore spoke of Professor Ian Jones’s apology in her speech in Canberra at the Recommendations of the Senate Inquiry in 2012.
With 250,000 adoptions in Australia from the early 1940’s, there are over a million people affected.

ALAS would like to thank on behalf of our members, Professor Ian Jones, for the important part he played in addressing our past history. Professor Jones is a compassionate and honourable man and we wish him a long and happy retirement next year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have had the privilege of meeting the Professor Ian Jones and I agree whole heartily with A.L.A.S on your comments. I congratulate A.L.A.S and all who have devoted many years of their lives to the work of bringing the truth of the past practices of forced adoption out in to the open. It takes great courage, faith, strength to keep going in those days when no one will listen, return phone calls, appointments cancelled and re booked answer letters and you have to keep going to have the impossible become a reality .CONGRATULATIONS