Tas joins SA and WA on adoptions policy
5th August 2012
6th August 2012
Tasmania will become the third Australian state to apologise for the past practice of forced adoptions.
Premier Lara Giddings has used Labor's state conference to announce her second major social reform in as many days.
On Saturday, delegates voted for Tasmania to go it alone on same-sex marriage, the first state to signal its intention to do so.
On Sunday, Ms Giddings said the island state would follow South Australia and Western Australia with an apology to mothers and children who were forcibly separated.
"There is an obvious amount of pain and distress that remains with those people today and I believe that a formal apology by the parliament will go some way to helping to address that pain," she said.
The premier said she was unaware how many Tasmanians were affected, but added they would be consulted on what form an apology should take.
She said several "complexities" were still to be worked through, but she was confident the move wouldn't leave the state open to big compensation payouts.
"We are working through complexities, but certainly the South Australian government has pursued this issue and we believe that we can apologise," Ms Giddings said.
"Any other issues that may come out of that we will work through.
"But I don't believe there is anything that would stop or preclude an apology being made."
The premier said a date for the apology would be set during the next session of parliament.
Many young, single women were forced to give up their babies throughout Australia from the 1950s through to the 1980s.
In July South Australia followed Western Australia in giving a public apology to these women.
A reference group has been set up by the federal government to discuss a national apology.