Apology soon for adoptees
WE ARE sorry.
Those are the words Imbil's Kerri Saint has waited to hear from the Queensland Government her entire life.
The Imbil resident has pushed for a formal recognition of the grief, trauma and hardship "the other stolen generation" faced from the 1950s to 1970s.
About 250,000 children were systematically taken from their young, single or widowed mothers.
Mrs Saint was one of those children.
On November 27 in State Parliament, Premier Campbell Newman will formally issue an apology for forced adoptions.
Mr Newman said the policies and practices of forced adoptions by successive governments were wrong and should never have occurred.
"While the past can never be changed, I sincerely hope that hearing the apology will help ease some of the pain of people who have been so deeply affected by this experience," Mr Newman said.
Mrs Saint was three weeks old when she was adopted in 1962.
She grew up believing her biological mother had died at the age of 16 in childbirth, but in 1984 Mrs Saint discovered the truth.
Her mother had been a 34-year-old widow who was forcibly made to give up her baby.
Mrs Saint was part of the stakeholders group that constructed the apology speech.
She said words such as secrecy, lies, misinformation, illegal, unworthiness, lifelong shame, stigma and loss of identity would be used.
"Judging by the consultation we have had so far, I have a strong feeling the apology will be sincere, heartfelt and honest," Mrs Saint said.
"I never thought it would happen this quickly. I'm still realising the reality of it.
"I'm elated and really looking forward to the 27th to be with other adoptees who have struggled themselves.
"Apart from having kids and getting married, this apology is the biggest thing to happen in my life."
But Mrs Saint said she was concerned that, even as a close to a sad chapter seemed imminent, there was already a medical push to reintroduce forced adoptions for mothers thought to be at risk of "yelling" at children.
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