Comment - Social Justice
Movement for an Adoption Apology by Jean Robertson-Molloy.
Jean proposing her motion
Conference voted to campaign for an official government apology for the past treatment of unmarried
birth parents who were coerced into giving up their babies for adoption. Some may think that the Green
Party has more important matters to attend to than this. But this decision is important and worthwhile.
Firstly it is important for the well-being of the people who suffered in this way. The idea that one should
give up a child for adoption simply because one was not married sounds almost laughable today. But many
women were coerced into doing this by the simple method of refusing them information and advice about the
available benefits. Many people, especially women, suffered years of mental and or physical ill-health
Nothing, perhaps, can now make up for this but at least we can let them know that their pain and grief is
recognised, and thus make the unspeakable speakable, an essential ingredient of healing.
But this is also a matter of social justice with wider implications. As Greens, we tend to be very aware
of the injustices suffered by people in other countries, of the children who starve, of the homosexuals
threatened with death, of the women raped routinely in warfare, to mention only a few.
But one of the Green Party's strengths, it seems to me, is that we are also aware and willing to get
involved with local issues, individual injustices. And not to sweep inconvenient facts under the carpet.
That half a million women suffered under this system is a very inconvenient fact for those who want to promote
adoption today. But suffer they did, and I am proud of the Green Party's willingness to endorse this
First published in the EGP members newsletter, October 2011