November 15, 2009

Child Migrants Apology Planned

UK child migrants apology planned
Gordon Brown is to apologise for the UK's role in sending thousands of its children to former colonies in the 20th century, the BBC has learned.

Under the Child Migrants Programme - which ended just 40 years ago - poor children were sent to a "better life" in Australia, Canada and elsewhere.

Officials are consulting with survivors of the programme so that a statement can be made in the new year.

On Monday, Australia's prime minister will apologise to the 7,000 UK migrants living there for the mistreatment.

He will deliver a national apology to the "Forgotten Australians" and recognise the mistreatment and ongoing suffering of some 500,000 people held in orphanages or children's homes between 1930 and 1970.

As they were compulsorily shipped out of Britain, many of the children were told - wrongly - their parents were dead, and that a more abundant life awaited them.

Many parents did not know their children, aged as young as three, had been sent to Australia.

Care agencies worked with the government to send disadvantaged children to a rosy future and supply what was deemed "good white stock" to a former colony.

In a letter to the chairman of the health select committee this weekend, Mr Brown said "the time is now right" for the UK to apologise for the actions of previous governments.

"It is important that we take the time to listen to the voices of the survivors and victims of these misguided policies," he wrote.

Kevin Barron, chairman of the select committee which looked into what happened, said he was "very pleased" to have received a written commitment from Mr Brown.

"After consultation with organisations directly involved with child migrants we are going to make an apology early in the new year," he said.

Baroness Amos, Britain's high commissioner in Canberra, said an apology was an important part of addressing the damage.

She told the BBC: "We've always said that this was an absolutely shocking period in our history and it's important that there is an apology.

"The trust has campaigned for over 20 years for this kind and degree of recognition. For child migrants, of course, it has been all their lives and for their families.

"This is a moment - a significant moment - in the history of child migration.
The recognition is vital if people are to recover."

*Adult adoptees in America REMAIN stripped of recognition for being withheld the same right as every other American citizen to obtain our original birth certificates. What a day it will be when all 51 states restore that unconditional right to our citizens. We and our children after us deserve this ~ "now is the time".
"What sorrow awaits the unjust judges and those who issue unfair laws. They deprive the poor of justice and deny the rights of the needy among my people. They prey on widows and take advantage of orphans. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause and fight for the rights of orphans and widows. For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. Everyone will realize that they are a people the Lord has blessed."Isaiah 1:17,10:1-2,61:8-9


Lori said...

Now, can we organize ourselves to get a apology and the open records for our children?

We need to stand together - because right now, we stand apart and without power and voice.

legitimatebastard said...

We all need to stand together in the United States of America to organize two federal appologies:

First, to the Mothers of Adoption Loss who suffered the violent act of removing their infants at birth. Fathers need to be included, because some of us adoptees were relinquished by our fathers who were also coerced.

Second: to the adoptees who were taken from their mothers and fathers, forbidden access to their mother's milk, forbidden access to siblings, and suffered the government siezure of our birth certificates and the falsification of Live Birth Certificates (thanks Peach, for that fine point!)by the Court that finalized our adoption and by the Registrar of Vital Statistics.

We've been held back by individual State laws that govern health codes and birth certifcate and adoption laws. This IS a Federal issue!

We must stand together and demand our rights. NO compromises. A formal Presidential appology followed by a Federal Action to immediately open of all of our birth and adoption records, retroactively, and the immediate end to automatic "new" "amended" "false" birth certificates for adoptees.

We must insist on Adoption Certificates to replace "new" birth certificates upon adopton.

I have to say it: an apology won't go far unless we stop the practice of adoption altogether. Why do this over and over again? Senseless, cruel, perpetuating the myths.

*Peach* said...

Thank you for these two insightful comments ~ I agree, and so hope that eventually our society and government will hear our voices and we will stand together for this injustice to be righted. I'm so thankful for God's grace and mercy to restore our lives even in the middle of injustice.

Adoption, the way it is done now, is truly legalized stripping of a human beings identity. No "Certificate of Live Birth" should ever be amended or falsified to include names of those who did not give birth. Every American should have the right to own their birth information and identity.
It should be illegal for any money to exchange hands in the practice of "adoption". In some countries all "adoption" is done by the government and no marketing or money is involved.
The way "adoption" is done in America, it is simply legalized child-trafficking, because of this "business" being completely unregulated and unprotected. The laws must change, and the first step is exactly what you pointed out in these comments ~ unconditional access for all adult adoptees to obtain their original birth certificates.