Sturgeon 'to apologise' to women forced to give up babies for adoption

Thousands of unmarried women in Scotland were forced into adoptions during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Nicola Sturgeon ‘to apologise’ to women in Scotland forced to give babies up for adoption’ STV News

Nicola Sturgeon will formally apologise to women in Scotland historically forced to give up their babies for adoption, according to reports.

The First Minister is expected to say sorry to the tens of thousands of women impacted by the practice before she leaves office later this month.

In 2022, a UK parliamentary committee called for an official apology to be given to the tens of thousands of unmarried women across the UK who were “shamed” and “coerced” into forced adoption during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

It’s been estimated that around 250,000 families in Scotland have been impacted by the historical practice.

Labour MSP Monica Lennon, who has campaigned for an apology to be given to the women, said the move would be a “significant moment in Scotland”.

She said: “Tens of thousands of women in Scotland had their babies taken from them as a result of forced adoption practices.

“We refer to this as a historic act but the injustice has never faded for those affected.

“It is right that Nicola Sturgeon makes a formal apology on behalf of the Scottish Government.

“We cannot fully learn from the past unless we acknowledge it.”

A spokesperson for the Movement for an Adoption Apology in Scotland said: “We are encouraged to hear this news.

“A sincere apology can provide comfort and validation to a lot of mothers and families who have suffered in silence for a very long time.

“We hope that any apology will include all family members who were affected and guarantee concrete measures that will improve their wellbeing.

“Our recommendations to the government included mental health services as well as reform to access to records.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Ministers are acutely aware of the trauma and heartbreak caused by historical adoption practices, having heard the direct testimony of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who suffered greatly as a result of children being unnecessarily taken away from mothers and placed for adoption.

“We have been working with campaigners to consider next steps, and the First Minister is expected to update Parliament on Wednesday, March 22.”

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