Adoption UK’s Director of Public Affairs Alison Woodhead said:

“Adoption UK fully supports the call for a Government apology to the women and their children who were affected by forced adoption in the 50s, 60s and 70s. There are also clear and compelling proposals for improving timeliness to requests for records, a system for sharing medical information, and improvements in intermediary services. 

Until about 50 years ago, adoption was regularly used as social cleansing – to prevent children being raised by women who were perceived to have weak morals. Today, adoption is rightly a last resort. It offers our most vulnerable children safety, stability and the chance to thrive.

Losing a birth child is a tragedy for every parent and they all deserve our sympathy. Those whose children are removed for their own safety are often repeating cycles of abuse and neglect that have afflicted that family over generations. For the women whose children were removed just because they were unmarried, and for their birth children, the time has come to say sorry.”

The violation of Family Life: Adoption of Children of Unmarried Women 1949–1976 (