Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has delivered a historic national apology to the thousands of unwed mothers who were forced to give up their babies for adoption decades ago.
More than 800 people, many of them in tears, heard the apology on Thursday in Parliament House.
The apology was recommended a year ago by a Senate committee that investigated the impacts of the now-discredited policies.
The committee found mothers were pressured, deceived and threatened into giving up their babies from World War II until the early 1970s because being adopted by married couples was perceived to be in the children's best interests.
The government has committed 5 million Australian dollars ($5 million) to support services for affected families.
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