Commonwealth Department of Social Services
In Australia’s past, adoption of children of unwed mothers and fathers was common. Adoption numbers peaked between 1951 and 1971, when approximately 150,000 adoptions occurred. Many of these adoptions were arranged without willing or informed consent, and unwed pregnant women had little or no choice about what would happen to their babies. These adoptions were unethical, dishonest and in many cases illegal, and are therefore considered ‘forced’.
The Forced Adoption Support Service (FASS)
The FASS is a specialist support service for people affected by past forced adoption policies and practices. It aims to improve access to records and provide referrals to professional counselling, peer support and family tracing services.
Services are available through funded organisations in each state and territory to support adopted people, mothers, fathers, siblings, and extended family members affected by forced adoption.
Review of the FASS
AHA was engaged by the Department to conduct a post-implementation review of the FASS. We consulted with a wide range of people and organisations, including:
The review included:
These consultations guided our review findings and will help inform future service delivery.
Further information about forced adoption and services for those impacted by forced adoption is available here:
Services support adopted people, mothers, fathers, siblings, and extended family members affected by forced adoption.