Five years after the apology to the Stolen Generations, Indigenous Australians have welcomed the Prime Minister's apology over decades of forced adoptions separating hundreds of thousands of parents and children.
By
Jeremy Geia, NITV

21 Mar 2013 - 6:56 PM  UPDATED 26 Aug 2013 - 10:48 AM

Five years after the apology to the Stolen Generations, Indigenous Australians have welcomed the Prime Minister's apology over decades of forced adoptions separating hundreds of thousands of parents and children.

Tens of thousands of people were illegally taken from their parents and they included many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

"Today, this Parliament, on behalf of the Australian people, takes responsibility and apologises for the policies and practices that forced the separation of mothers from their babies, which created a lifelong legacy of pain and suffering,” began the Prime Minister's speech.

For Christine Doolan, today's apology helped put back the pieces.

"I think what it was basically saying was the reason why we're all here today is because we're living proof that it happened.”

From the 1950s to the 1970s around 50,000 un-married mothers had their babies taken away.

Women were forced to sign adoption papers, drugged and even physically chained to their hospital beds to stop them bonding with their babies.

Leonie Pope was taken from her mother at birth and was denied her culture.

"I was then taken to Wales in the UK, I packed my life and my culture was totally disrupted. I came back to Australia five years ago with my three children. I've tried to live my life. It's almost like re-growing."

This year marks the fithth anniversary of the apology to the Stolen Generations.

Sam Watson of Link Up Queensland says the illegal removal and forced adoption will result in legal action.

"There has to be," he told NITV. "You cannot measure the pain or the trauma of what these people were subjected to but you can at least pay them a dollar amount to assist them to mend their lives.”

The federal government has committed $11.5 million to assist the victims of forced adoptions find their families and counselling.