PACT statement in reaction to ITV documentary Britain’s Adoption Scandal: Breaking the Silence

An ITV documentary is to be screened on November 9 about unmarried mothers in the 50s, 60s and 70s who felt pressured to give up their babies for adoption.

The documentary tells the stories of women who gave up their babies when the church ran mother and baby homes.

The Catholic Church has issued an apology to the women. Cardinal Vincent Nichols acknowledged the “the grief and pain caused by the giving up of a child through adoption”, adding: “Sadly for unmarried mothers, adoption was considered to be in the best interests of the mother and child because of the associated stigma and the lack of support for lone parents.”

In reaction to the documentary and this apology, PACT has released the following statement:

“Adoption has, throughout the last century, been society’s mirror.  Just as this apology highlights society’s intolerance in the mid twentieth century, adoption today champions inclusion, alternative lifestyles and sexualities, myriad ethnicities and cultures, and reflects a modern Britain where single parents achieve highly positive outcomes for the children they nurture, sometimes against all odds.

“In welcoming this apology, we must also be mindful of the significant progress made in national care legislation that requires statutory multi-agency checks and balances to be in place before a child is removed for his or her parents. 

“Adoption, as the best permanence option for any child in this sad and desperate situation, remains an important governmental activity today requiring more ordinary people to step forward and become extraordinary adopters.”

Read more about this story in The Guardian here