Support and counselling for women impacted by forced adoption

Children’s minister Clare Haughey offered her 'sincere sympathies' to all those impacted.

Specialist support and counselling to help women in Scotland forced to give babies up for adoption iStock

Women in Scotland who were forced to give up their babies for adoption are to be offered specialist support and counselling.

It comes after campaigners called for the Scottish Government to issue a formal apology over the historical practice.

Around 250,000 families in the country are believed to have been impacted by forced adoption

The campaign group, Movement for an Adoption Apology (MAA), said that women forced to give up their children felt “shame, disenfranchised grief and trauma”.

New measures, backed by funding of around £145,000, are now being implemented to help address the issue.

The Scottish Government has announced that counselling and specialist support will be made available, whilst peer support groups will also be set up.

Meanwhile, research is to be commissioned to look at how existing support can be improved.

A questionnaire was launched in January, with those affected asked to share their views and insights, if they feel able to do so.

Children’s minister Clare Haughey offered her “sincere sympathies” to all those impacted.

“Tragically, in the past there were practices which resulted in some women feeling forced to give up their children,” she said.

“I offer my sincere sympathies to all those whose lives were profoundly changed as a result

“Our webpage and questionnaire was set up six weeks ago so those affected by this heart-breaking issue could share their views and insights.

“Since then, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters have come forward to give moving accounts of their experiences.

“I do not underestimate how painful this may have been and the courage it must have taken. I’d like to thank all those who have contributed so far.”

The minister said that feedback provided will help the Government understand what action is needed to help.

She added: “I would respectfully encourage those who have not yet given their views to do so, if they feel able.

“Their feedback will help us to understand what action is needed to help these families now and in the future.

“In the meantime, we will start the process of establishing specialist support and peer support groups as we continue to explore next steps.”

Jeannot Farmer, of the Movement for an Adoption Apology, said: “We are encouraged to hear that the Scottish Government has listened to our views and recognised the need for support services, including peer support, for those affected by historic adoption practices.”

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