The Uniting Church in South Australia has accepted responsibility for the past practice of forced adoptions.

It has urged other welfare and church groups to prepare for a wave of victims seeking help for decades of suffering.

Church groups have previously denied the practice occurred but UnitingCare Wesley chief executive Simon Schrapel told The Advertiser yesterday the church now accepted it was “highly likely” that it did, so it was issuing an apology and asking victims to come forward.

Tens of thousands of unmarried pregnant women were sent to care facilities in Adelaide, particularly before single mothers could claim federal government welfare in 1973.

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