Australia’s dark history of forced adoptions in focus

Australia’s history of forced adoptions is on display at Albury’s Library Museum, with the Without Consent exhibition showing the ramifications of the illegal actions are still being felt.

National Archives of Australia’s Ann-Marie Conde said the display was created by curator Amy Lay to recognise the practices occurring from 1950 to 1980.

“People tend to understand that adoptions and forced adoptions occurred but they may not be aware about the illegality that went on,” she said.

“Often underage unmarried girls would be forced to sign away their rights but when you're underage you can’t enter into a legal contract. There was insufficient understanding or care.”

Ms Conde said the exhibition grew out of then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s apology to those affected by forced adoptions.