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Forced Adoption: When is an Apology Not an Apology?

A few weeks ago, I made a speech to the House of Commons about the ordeal that Helen Jefferys had to endure. After her child was taken from her arms at a Leeds hospital, she spent decades not knowing who her son was or how to reach him. Her son was given little information about his birth parents, other than a single sheet of paper comprised of sparse, inaccurate information.

Since hearing Helen’s story, and the stories of countless others who have written to me since the speech, I have become even more entrenched in my view that the Government, at the very least, owe an official apology.

That’s why I tabled a Parliamentary question asking if an apology was forthcoming as well as asking what provision will be put in place to help those affected.

The answer was odd. The Government expressed ‘deep regret that legislation at the time was not robust enough.’

At first glance the reply reads like an apology, but is it? Is expressing regret about legislation around at the time of a historical injustice the same as an apology? Not quite.

Watch: Alex’s Speech on Forced Adoption:

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