Forced adoptions community of practice

Past project

The project developed resources and National Practice Standards to support Forced Adoption Support Services.


Before significant social, legal and economic changes in Australia in the late 1970s, young (usually unmarried) women and their partners were encouraged - or forced - to "give up" their babies for adoption.

The Senate Enquiry into the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices found that these practices were unethical, immoral, and in many cases, illegal. Such practices continue to have wide ranging effects on mothers, fathers, the individuals who were adopted and their extended families.

About the project

This project  built on the previous work conducted by the Institute in the area of past adoptions, including forced adoption and family separation. 

The project developed consistent standards for delivering support services, by a range of professional groups and organisations, to those affected by the policies and practices of forced adoption.

The National Practice Standards were developed in consultation with Forced Adoption Support Services, the Australian Psychological Society and the Department of Social Services and were  released online in June 2016.


June 2015 - July 2016