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Tasmania - Glossary Term

Forced Adoption (c. 1940 - c. 1970)

c. 1940
c. 1970
Glossary Term

Forced adoption occurs when a parent, usually the mother, is compelled to relinquish her child. This can be the result of coercion or because the parent is in circumstances which leave them with no other option.


In their report, the Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies and practices, the Senate's Community Affairs References Committee heard many cases of women who, between about 1940 and 1970, lost their babies even though they had not given consent or who had given consent but only because of coercion. Some women tried to use their legal entitlement to revoke their consent but were refused.

Related Concepts

Related Events

Related Glossary Terms

  • Adoption

    Between about 1940 and 1970, many adoptions were forced.


Newspaper Articles

  • 'Mum tell of years of torment', The Mercury, 1 March 2012. Details

Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices: submissions received by the Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, 2011,

Prepared by: Caroline Evans