25 Jul 2011

Church to issue national apology over adoptions

12:03 pm on 25 July 2011

The Catholic Church in Australia will on Monday issue a national apology over past adoption practices that have been described as a national disgrace.

The apology has been prompted by an investigation by the ABC into claims of abuse and trauma in Newcastle, New South Wales.

It is believed at least 150,000 Australian women had their babies taken against their will by some churches and adoption agencies between the 1950s and 1970s.

Psychiatrist Geoff Rickarby, who has treated scores of affected women, says it is a stain on Australia's history.

Catholic Health Australia chief executive Martin Laverty says he is sorry for what happened.

He says the organisation is committed to righting the wrongs and wants to develop protocols to assist women affected.