On Tuesday April 25th in the Senedd, the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan, made a powerful and heartfelt statement, apologising on behalf of the Welsh Government to those affected by historical adoption practices. Her speech can be accessed through this link Senedd.tv - Plenary
She said of what happened in the 1950s,60s and 70s:
“I know the effects of forced adoption and forced family separation are still very much part of the lives of the many people involved.
The impacts are diverse and long-lasting, not only for the women separated from a child by adoption, but also for the adult sons and daughters who were adopted as babies, and their extended family members. I want to acknowledge the father's experiences when it comes to these historical practices too.
Many still find it extremely difficult to open-up and talk about the life-long heartbreak they have bottled up for fear of still being judged.
The feelings of loss, grief, anger and pain remain.
Regardless of the societal pressures or social norms of the day, such cruelty should never be an acceptable part of our society in Wales.
I would like to convey my deepest sympathy and regret to all affected, that due to society failing you, you had to endure such appalling historical practices in Wales – for this the whole of the Welsh Government is truly sorry.”
The full statement is available as below
This apology follows an earlier, personal apology, made by the Deputy Minister at the Big Adoption Conversation event in January.
On Tuesday, the Deputy Minister spoke about the work that is planned to improve the professional support and services available to all those affected by historic practices including peer support and advocacy, the scoping of the regulatory changes that may be required to address the shortage of counsellors able to provide adoption support, the work that is commencing to improve the challenges faced by those wishing to access their records. In her statement, the Deputy Minister acknowledged a recent consultation event with some of the mothers whose children were taken from them and confirmed a commitment to co-producing new services with them and others.
The National Adoption Service for Wales welcomes the apology made in the Senedd by the Deputy Minister for Social Services to people - mothers, fathers, and children - affected by historic adoption practices. We look forward to the opportunity of working with the Minister, Welsh Government and our own services to develop a programme of support to respond to the Joint Human Rights Committee report. Adoption is a lifelong process, and we will continue to recognise this by prioritising the experiences of families past and present through our services and Adoption Support Commitment.