Australia apologizes for forced adoptions

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CANBERRA, Australia — Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered a historic national apology in Parliament on Thursday to the thousands of unwed mothers who were forced by government policies to give up their babies for adoption over several decades.

The seven-member Senate committee began investigating the federal government’s role in forced adoption in 2010 after the Western Australian state parliament apologized to mothers and children for the flawed practices in that state from the 1940s until the 1980s.