Past adoption practices

The North Metropolitan Health Service and specifically, the Women and Newborn Health Service (WNHS) acknowledges the agony and trauma that was and continues to be experienced by adopted people, their mothers, fathers, and families as a result of the past adoption practices in Western Australia.

We acknowledge and feel saddened that our health service, committed to the care of women, engaged in the practice of severing the bond of a willing and loving mother and her child. This practice was cruel and unacceptable, and we regret that King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH), the Kensington Annexe and Osborne Park Hospital played a role in it.

We acknowledge and understand from listening to the stories of people with lived experience, that there has been a myriad of painful enduring consequences for them and that these are irreparable.

We are deeply sorry for the trauma and heartbreak that resulted for all those who have been affected by this practice.

We recognise the enduring bond between a mother and their child and commit ourselves as a healthcare provider to treat all women and children in our care with dignity and compassion based on values of truth, openness and respect for diversity. We will endeavour to ensure that these inhumane actions will never be allowed to occur in our services again.

Support and access to personal records will be extended to all those affected, and a memorial will be built in the grounds of KEMH, as a permanent symbol of our apology and to acknowledge the harm caused by these practices.

WNHS recognises and supports both the State apology (PDF) of the Western Australian Government delivered by former Premier the Hon Colin Barnett in 2010 and the National apology (external site) of the Australian Federal Government delivered by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2013.


20 March 2023

Last Updated: 04/04/2023