Flemish parliament to apologise for forced adoptions
The Flemish parliament has unanimously approved a resolution to apologise to the victims involved in forced adoptions that took place in the 1950s to the 1980s
During the period, many women, particularly the poor and the unmarried, were forced to give up their babies for adoption against their will by staff in homes and other institutions, often those with close links to the Catholic Church. Sometimes the mothers, many of whom were teenagers, were told that their babies had died.
In January this year the conference of bishops in Belgium issued a statement apologising for the role of the church and called for an independent enquiry. The body also promised to work closely with family organisation Kind & Gezin to help trace the children who were adopted under the scheme.
The Flemish parliament organised a series of hearings, and an expert panel produced a report in May that included among its recommendations the lineage centre and DNA database. The panel also recommended the government apologise for acting much too late in reaction to revelations.
The parliament will now prepare a letter for victims, and apologise formally at a public ceremony later in the year.
Government of Flanders
million people live in the Flemish Region.
provinces constitute the Flemish Region: West Flanders, East Flanders, Flemish Brabant, Antwerp and Limburg.
number of years for which the Flemish Parliament is elected. Its elections coincide with those of the European Parliament.