Historical adoption practices

Support for women and families affected.

Specialist support and counselling is to be established to help those affected by historical adoption practices.

Peer support groups will also be set up and research will be commissioned to look at how existing support can be improved.

The new measures, backed by funding of around £145,000, were announced as a fresh appeal was made for women and families affected by historical adoption practices to share their experiences through a dedicated Scottish Government webpage and questionnaire.

Children’s Minister Clare Haughey said:

“Tragically, in the past there were practices which resulted in some women feeling forced to give up their children. I offer my sincere sympathies to all those whose lives were profoundly changed as a result.

“Our webpage and questionnaire was set up six weeks ago so those affected by this heart-breaking issue could share their views and insights. Since then, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters have come forward to give moving accounts of their experiences. I do not underestimate how painful this may have been and the courage it must have taken. I’d like to thank all those who have contributed so far.

“I would respectfully encourage those who have not yet given their views to do so, if they feel able. Their feedback will help us to understand what action is needed to help these families now and in the future.

“In the meantime, we will start the process of establishing specialist support and peer support groups as we continue to explore next steps.”

Jeannot Farmer, of the Movement for an Adoption Apology, said:

 "We are encouraged to hear that the Scottish Government has listened to our views and recognised the need for support services, including peer support, for those affected by historic adoption practices."


The Historical adoption webpage and questionnaire will be open for responses until 20 April.

A phone line has been set up in collaboration with Health in Mind to support people who are taking part, or who are considering taking part, in the questionnaire. Those staffing the line have knowledge and understanding of trauma and its impacts. The line - 0774 174 3971 - is available on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am–3pm.

All responses to the webpage and questionnaire will be anonymised and treated in strict confidence.


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