If you were separated at birth through forced adoptions in Victoria between 1950 and 1970, you may be eligible for compensation under a new redress scheme.
For more than a year, Shine Lawyers has been pushing for the removal of the statute of limitations for mothers whose newborn children were forcefully taken from them by the Victorian State between the 1950s and 1970s .
At the time, unwed mothers were made to feel like they were unfit parents, and that it was their fault that this was happening to them. It has taken decades for many to find the courage to seek legal advice only to be told that it's too late to sue.
New recommendations by the Forced Adoption Inquiry submitted to the Victorian state government may see the removal of these time limitations so that these women, and their affected children can finally access justice for the wrongdoings they endured.
Many of these mothers suffered through being:
- sent to maternity homes with harsh conditions;
- forcibly restrained while giving birth;
- immediately separated from their newborn babies;
- coerced or pressured to sign adoption consent forms – against their will or under the influence of drugs that impaired their ability to give informed consent;
- treated cruelly by staff;
- provided with substandard medical care;
- left traumatised by the birthing experience;
- uninformed and unprotected by their legal rights.
The trauma experienced by survivors of forced adoptions include long-lasting impacts on:
- their ability to form relationships
- their mental health with many suffering PTSD, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts
- their physical health.
Do I have a claim?
If you were impacted by these practices in Victoria between 1950 and 1970, you may be able to access compensation.
Whether you were an unwed mother or father who was forced to give up your child, or one of the children taken from their parents under these circumstances, our abuse law team are here to provide the legal advice and guidance you need.
What can I claim for?
A proposed redress scheme for forced adoption survivors
Although nothing can restore what was taken from you, under a proposed redress scheme you may be able to access:
- financial compensation
- counselling support
- a direct personal response from the responsible organisations, such as mothers’ homes, hospitals and adoption agencies.
Time limitations could be removed for forced adoption compensation
We are proud that the Shine Lawyers recommendation to remove the statute of limitations for survivors of forced adoptions has been endorsed by the Legal and Social Issues Committee Inquiry into forced adoptions.
This is the culmination of decades of brave and hard-fought work by our clients for recognition of, and restitution for, the harm caused. Shine Lawyers will continue to stand with the mothers and children until these recommendations become law.
Why trust Shine with my forced adoption compensation claim?
We've been standing up for the rights of everyday Australians for over 40 years. With specialist training in trauma awareness and close partnerships with counsellors and medical specialists, our experts are equipped with providing you and your family with the holistic care and guidance you need throughout your legal journey.
When you contact us, we are here to listen and provide you with the dignity and respect you deserve. We understand that it can be difficult for you to put your trust in others. Our team are committed to ensuring our clients have access to the care and support they need.
How can Shine Lawyers help?
Shine Lawyers have been pushing for the reform of laws holding parents and children back from accessing justice for what they experienced through the horrific forced adoption practices.
We are here to listen to you, act on your behalf, and help you access the compensation you deserve. We will strive to make this process as simple as possible while helping you to access outcomes that truly matter to you. If you’d like to talk to our team about your experience, we offer confidential, obligation-free consultations to anyone considering taking legal action. Contact us to arrange your initial discussion today.
Forced Adoption Support Services
Reliving the traumatic experience you endured may bring up distressing memories. If you are struggling to cope or need to speak with someone to access support, contact the Forced Adoption Support Service in your state or territory on 1800 210 313.