THE UK Government is facing calls to follow the example of the Scottish and Welsh administrations and issue a formal apology to the victims of forced adoption.

Chris Law, the SNP MP for Dundee West, urged the Government to apologise to mothers, fathers and children who had their families ripped apart by the “abhorrent” practice.

The Government apologised for forced adoptions "on behalf of society" earlier this year in response to a Westminster committee's report on the matter - but sources close to Law said he does not believe this goes far enough. 

They cite the in-person apologies given by Nicola Sturgeon or by the Welsh Government and called on London to follow suit.

The Government's response from to the report in March 2023 said it was not "appropriate for a formal Government apology to be given".  

The MP was adopted and believes this may have been the result of being forcibly separated from his birth mother. 

Between 1949 and 1976, an estimated quarter of a million children across the UK were taken from their parents and forcibly adopted.

The practice was carried out by churches, charities and hospitals. Proponents of a Government apology for forced adoptions believe the state bears ultimate responsibility for allowing it to happen.

While the governments of Scotland and Wales have apologised to the victims of forced adoption, the UK Government has been accused of dragging its heels.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon gives 'heartfelt' apology to mothers forced into adoption

Law raised the issue in parliament on Thursday, calling on the UK Government to issue an apology. Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt said she would raise the matter with the Cabinet Office. 

It is understood the Department for Education is responsible for policy on forced adoptions. 

Law said: “Forced adoption was an abhorrent practice that has left life-long scars and trauma with the mothers, fathers and children it affected.

“Whether it was performed by charities, churches or hospitals, this was a practice that was rife and that seriously affected the lives of an estimated quarter of a million people across these islands over nearly thirty years.

READ MORE: Forced adoption has caused such pain for families – it’s time to set things right

“An apology won’t turn back time or reverse the decisions of the past, but as a child of adoption during that time, and as one of several MPs from an adopted background, I completely understand why a state apology has gone some way in Scotland and Wales in bringing closure to those affected.

“Ultimately, however, it was the UK Government that, at the time, bore responsibility for setting the standards, and they have so far failed to take that responsibility, ducking previous calls for an apology and pointing the finger elsewhere.

“It is too often the case that Westminster is last to the table to accept state responsibility for the most vulnerable members of society. It is imperative that they now do the right thing and issue a formal apology.” 

The Cabinet Office was approached for comment.