PERTH, Australia (UPI) -- Single mothers who had their children taken from them by the state of Western Australia will get an apology in October, a government official said Wednesday.
In what is believed to be a worldwide first, single mothers will receive an official apology from the government of Western Australia for the forced adoption of their children by the state between 1940 and the mid-1980s. Children were taken from their mothers at birth and were given up for adoption without the mothers' consent.
While there is debate about the legality of the practice, it was "reflective of the times," Peta Rule, senior media adviser to the Minister for Health, told United Press International.
"But what was done was terrible and these women were so badly treated," Rule said.
Oct. 19 has been named as a potential date for the apology to unmarried mothers adversely affected by past adoption practices, Rule said.