Nicola Sturgeon to apologise to mothers forced to give up babies for adoption

It is estimated that around 250,000 families in Scotland have been affected by the historical practice.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to formally apologise to women in Scotland who were forced to give up their babies for adoption.

The recognition would be the first official apology in the UK to tens of thousands of unmarried mothers “shamed” and “coerced” into having their babies adopted.

It is estimated around 250,000 families in Scotland have been affected by the historical practice throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

The apology on Wednesday would be one of her final acts in government.

Ahead of the expected apology, Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “It is of the utmost importance that all of those affected by the forced adoption scandal get a full and frank apology today.

“Righting this historic wrong is long overdue.

“For years, these women have fought for justice and for years that justice has been denied.

“The fact that the deeply harmful drug known as DES or Stilbestrol was used on these women is nothing short of horrifying.

“The entire nation has been moved by the heartbreaking emotional testimony given by the women affected.

“I would like to thank all of those who have campaigned tirelessly to make this happen, and I would like to record my admiration for the women for whom this apology will be too late.”

A decade ago, Australia issued the world’s first formal government apology for forced adoption.