Minister rejects calls for inquiry into historic forced adoption practices

Leader of the Opposition Mia Davies has slammed the Minister for Child Protection’s refusal to hold an inquiry into historic forced adoptions, saying it was heartless and left survivors without hope.

After formally raising the matter with the Minister in Parliament more than a month ago, Ms Davies used Question Time in Parliament to ask the Minister if she had considered the request of survivors for an inquiry.

“The Minister callously said she won’t support an inquiry into the inhumane and illegal practices inflicted on many West Australians, before she’d even had a formal meeting with representatives of survivors,” Ms Davies said.

“Thousands of new-borns, now adults, were forcefully removed from their mothers and adopted out between the 1940’s and 1980’s.

“The mothers, the adopted adults and their families impacted by this dark era deserve to have their chance to tell their story and contribute to recommendations for reparation and justice specific to WA.

“This should be done through a full and thorough committee inquiry into the once State-sanctioned practice.”

Ms Davies said a petition had been presented by a Member of the Labor Government calling for the same inquiry which the Minster has now unequivocally rejected.

“The Opposition will continue to support survivors’ push for a Parliamentary inquiry,” she said.

“I call on the Minister to reconsider her position given the long-lasting and deeply traumatic impact forced adoption had on thousands of West Australians.”

Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said it was extremely disappointing to see the Minister reject calls for an inquiry.

“The Minister has denied the people impacted by forced adoption the opportunity to tell the truth of what they experienced and endured,” Ms Mettam said.

“Survivors and the broader community have expressly called for an urgent State-based inquiry into these traumatic events, as proven through a signed petition delivered to Parliament.

“An inquiry would have been the chance for mothers, adopted adults, medical staff, and institutions to take the next step in the healing process.

“The Minister for Child Protection has shown her true colours by refusing to hold an inquiry – I urge the McGowan Labor Government to immediately reconsider their wrongful stance.”