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Forced adoption compensation

We are ready to take action, ensuring you receive the respect and compensation you deserve and right wrong. 

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Who can make a forced adoption compensation claim in Australia?

The terms “forced adoption” and “forced family separation” describe the practices predominantly between the 1950s to 1980s where many pregnant, unwed women and their partners were subjected to unauthorised or illegal separation from their children. 

Many mothers who experience forced adoption 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

Trauma experienced by survivors of forced adoptions can be long-lasting and include:

  • Impaired ability to form relationships

  • Mental health conditions including; PTSD, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts

  • Poor physical health

Whether you were a mother or father who was forced to give up your child, or you are one of the children taken from your parents under these circumstances, our abuse law team is here to provide the legal advice and guidance you need.

Your entitlements

Although nothing can restore what was taken from you,  a successful claim will often involve:

  • An acknowledgement or apology for the wrongdoing

  • An updated birth certificate recognising you as the biological mother

  • Care and domestic assistance

  • Financial compensation for: 

    • Medical treatment and related expenses

    • Loss of income

    • Pain and suffering

How long will it take?

We are proud that Shine Lawyers recommendation to remove the statute of limitations and the significant injury threshold level for survivors of forced adoptions has been endorsed by the Legal and Social Issues Committee Inquiry into forced adoptions. 

Consider that the timing of your claim depends on your situation and the type of claim process that is right for you.


Everyone has the right to stand against injustice regardless of their financial situation.

That’s why we provide our abuse law services on a No Win, No Fee* basis, ensuring survivors don’t need to worry about out-of-pocket legal expenses. 

*Conditions apply.

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Review your claim with our simple and free online tool.

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What we will ask:

  • Questions to help us understand the incident, what you have experienced and how your life has been impacted. Your answers will help us define the best course of action for your claim.  

What happens next:

  • Either book a no-obligation appointment with an abuse law expert right away or,

  • Speak with our team about your options

Claim process

We listen and assess your case confidentially

During an obligation-free initial consultation, we’ll take the time to listen and understand your individual needs. We will fully explain the legal process to you so that you understand your rights and feel in control.  

We’ll build your case and keep you informed

Your go-to legal team will work with you to gather all the evidence needed to support your claim. All evidence will be considered so we can assess your options and provide guidance tailored to your specific situation.

We’ll negotiate to settle your claim early

This may involve directly approaching the institution concerned to engage in informal negotiations outside of the court process.

We know you’ve been through enough. Wherever possible we will seek to minimise any stress this process could have for you and resolve your claim in a way that is sensitive to your needs.

If required, go to court

Only a small percentage of cases result in a court hearing. If this happens, we will be by your side; providing support, compassion and skilled legal representation every step of the way. 

We will also work closely with your family, primary care providers and/or medical support to reduce any stress or inconvenience from this process wherever possible.

Resolve your case

We will passionately work to deliver the outcomes you deserve; acknowledgement, apology and compensation.

No Win, No Fee*

We do our best up-front to make sure you understand your legal case, including whether your case is on our No Win, No Fee* basis.  

*Conditions apply

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We're here to help

We’re here to make the claims process as simple and stress-free as possible.


Is there an abuse lawyer near me?

With more than 40 branches across Australia and 1000+ team members, location is no barrier when it comes to accessing Shine Lawyers legal advice and support.

If you’d like to speak to our abuse law team in person, you can see our full list of locations here.

If you aren‘t able to find a location near you, we can easily arrange an obligation-free virtual appointment or discuss the option to meet at a location that’s comfortable and convenient for you. No matter where you are located, we will always provide the same expert advice and manage your claim with the same level of quality and commitment.

Why trust Shine to be my abuse lawyers?

We have helped thousands of Australians right wrong and access more than $1 billion per year in entitlements and compensation through our expert services.

95% of the cases we represent are settled without the stress of going to court.

We offer access to affordable legal advice including on a No Win, No Fee* basis and an obligation-free initial consultation so you can understand your rights and know where you stand. 

*Conditions apply

Lobbying for change

We are proud to stand up for the rights of everyday Australians by helping them find their voice and shape a better future for our country.

We continue to fight for legislative change in ways that support survivors of abuse to access the acknowledgement, compensation and services they deserve:  

  • Submissions to the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse which ultimately led to the Royal Commission:

    • Taking significant steps to abolish time limitations in abuse cases; and

    • Implementing the Commonwealth Redress Scheme

Read more here 

  • Lobbying the Victorian State Government on behalf of survivors of forced adoption to:

    • Create a redress scheme for mothers and children that included financial compensation, counselling and psychological support;

    • Make the claims process easier for mothers; and

    • Removing the statute of limitations

Read more here  Our additional parliamentary submissions for abuse law can be viewed here.

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