...regaining identities, histories and rights for adopted people...  

Refused your birth certificate by the Adoption Authority?  Click here to learn how to locate it for yourself.

 

 


21st December 2011

How Ethiopia's Adoption Industry Dupes Families and Bullies Activists
As the "searchers" who track down adopted children's histories increasingly uncover stories of fraud, corruption, and worse, these specialists are facing threats and even violence.
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Click here to read

6th December 2011

Uniting Church admits to forced adoption
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.
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Click here to read

Surprise, surprise, it's a baby
While most undetected pregnancies are discovered by 25-30 weeks, there are at least five or six cases a year in Ireland where the mother does not know she is pregnant until she goes into labour. But how can a pregnancy go undetected for so long
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Click here to read

Officials investigate US adoptions
A DELEGATION from the Adoption Authority have visited the US to examine "a number of concerns" about adoptions between Ireland and the US, in particular from Florida.
Florida is the most popular state for Irish people who wish to adopt children from the US. Five children have been adopted from there this year. However, issues have been raised about adoption practices in the state for some time.
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Click here to read

Adoption practises - Children are not sale items
Under the Adoption Act 2010 people in Ireland can only adopt children from countries that have signed the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption, or from countries with which this country has a bilateral adoption agreement.
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Click here to read

Adoptions funded despite suspension
THE HEALTH Service Executive in Cork has confirmed it paid almost €420,000 to an adoption agency specialising in adoptions from Vietnam for 2010, despite the fact that no adoptions from Vietnam had taken place since 2009. This is double the amount previously reported.
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Click here to read

Warning over lack of laws on assisted human reproduction
THE GOVERNMENT’s special rapporteur on child protection has expressed “profound concern” that the State’s failure to legislate for assisted human reproduction is violating vulnerable children’s rights.
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Click here to read

The babies born into a legal limbo
Surrogacy in Ireland is shrouded in secrecy and a lack of legislation has turned it into a minefield.
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Click here to read

21st century baby
THE FIRST live birth following in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) just over 30 years ago marked the start of a reproductive revolution. It involved fertilising a woman’s eggs with sperm, before transferring them back into the uterus a few days later. Today, assisted human reproduction in Ireland is a booming industry. Couples are increasingly choosing to have children later in life, which increases the likelihood of fertility problems. Restrictions on international adoption mean that many would-be parents are exploring other ways of having a child. As a result, up to 3,000 children are born here each year thanks to IVF and other high-tech interventions.
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Click here to read


Bulgarian baby sellers arrested in Greece
Six people were arrested on Friday for alleged involvement in the sale of a 25-day-old baby for 12,000 euros, on the Greek Island of Crete. The illegal adoption involved the sale of a Bulgarian baby arranged by Bulgarian intermediaries.
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Click here to read

8th November 2011

Banished Babies second edition now available from Amazon



Mike Milotte has completed a second edition of his groundbreaking book Banished Babies, first published in 1997.  Click here to purchase from Amazon

Description from Amazon:

"The story of a baby traffic organized by nuns, sanctioned by an archbishop, administered by civil servants and approved by politicians - all of whose main concern was secrecy. What the critics said of the first edition:

A brilliant expose of the shabby history of sectarian cruelty to unmarried women who became pregnant in Ireland in the 1950s Susan McKay, Sunday Tribune 

This book would make your blood boil - one of the finest pieces of journalism this reader has come across for many a day. The author, Mike Milotte, has done his profession proud. Padraig O'Morain, The Irish Times

A salutary story, too long untold, and another nail in the coffin of Dev's mythical mystical Ireland. The Big Issue 

An astonishing story, meticulously told - and an excellent piece of journalism. An Phoblacht

Mike Milotte's damning expose of Church-State collusion in banishing thousands of vulnerable 'illegitimate' children from Ireland in the 1950s and 60s was first published to critical acclaim in 1997, and quickly achieved iconic status. For this new, updated and enlarged edition the author has added previously untold personal stories from some of the 'banished babies' he met in the intervening period - stories that further illuminate the murky shadows of this official, but long-concealed child-export business. This second edition also examines the Irish State's failure to fulfill promises - made in the wake of the book's first appearance - to adequately facilitate search and reunion among the 'banished babies' and their natural parents."

27th October 2011

New adoption legislation will give adopted people universal rights
New legislation when introduced will ensure that Ireland’s adopted people will have the same rights as others around the world.
That is according to Galway West Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames who has commended the Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald, on her commitment to introducing a bill on adoption information enabling adopted people to access their birth certificates and early care records.
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Click here to read


20th October 2011

Press Release: Adoption rights group looks forward to information legislation
Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA), a group advocating for equal human and civil rights for those affected by Ireland's closed secret adoption system, says it had a constructive meeting yesterday with Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald.  ARA welcomed the news that the Minister plans to publish heads of bill for adoption information legislation in the coming months.
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Click here to read

Order of Business, Seanad Éireann Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Many thanks to Senator Susan O'Keeffe for raising issues of concern in the Seanad.
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Click here to read

Silence is deafening over babies scandal (Tuesday, October 11, 2011)
THE revelations on the Prime Time programme on RTÉ last week concerning the testing of multiple vaccinations on babies in mother and child homes in the 50s and 60s were shocking to the core.
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Click here to read


300,000 babies stolen from their parents - and sold for adoption: 
Haunting BBC documentary exposes 50-year scandal of baby trafficking by the Catholic church in Spain

Up to 300,000 Spanish babies were stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of five decades, a new investigation reveals.
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Click here to read


Chinese orphanages buying babies for foreign adoption, investigation finds
CHINESE orphanages may still be buying babies and offering them for foreign adoption, Sky News discovered in an investigation.
It follows a series of scandals linking China's foreign adoption program to baby trafficking and the illegal confiscation of children.
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Click here to read

13th October 2011

Shocking abuse of innocents
LAST Thursday night’s Prime Time special investigation by journalist Katie Hannon on RTÉ One television revealed another truly shocking catalogue of abuse of innocent children in institutions run by various religious orders on behalf of the State some fifty years or so ago. Not only were children in mother and baby homes used as guinea pigs for the testing of vaccines, those who died had their bodies taken away and dissected for medical science research without any parental consent.
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Click here to read

11th October 2011

Universal Periodic Review
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is holding a public consultation on Ireland’s Third National Report to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which will take place on Thursday 3 November 2011 from 10am-12.30pm, in Iveagh House, 80 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. 

Written submissions on the draft report should be sent to ICESCR2011@dfa.ie by close of business Friday 28 October 2011. 

Click here to view the report

Click here for our UPR page

Click here for our Human Rights page

Keeping adoption safe
GREAT SOCIAL changes in Ireland since the 1970s have meant that very few Irish children are available for adoption. As a result, Irish couples wishing to adopt have been looking abroad, and since the 1980s children have been adopted in significant numbers from places as far apart as Romania and Latin America.
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Click here to read

Adoption agency funded despite Vietnam suspension
THE HEALTH Service Executive paid more than €200,000 in 2010 to an adoption agency in Cork which deals with adoptions from Vietnam, despite the fact adoptions from that country were suspended in May 2009.
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Click here to read

Authority to travel for talks on adoption agreements
DELEGATIONS FROM the Adoption Authority of Ireland will travel to Mexico, the Philippines and the United States to discuss adoption agreements, the International Adoption Association was told at the weekend.
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Click here to read

HSE still without vaccine trial files
SOME 15,000 adoption files held by the Sacred Heart Convent at Bessborough in Cork have yet to be transferred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) — two months after the initial deadline for the transfer.
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Click here to read

Hundreds of Irish babies used in medical research and dissection
Babies used as research subjects without single mothers’ consent 
A disturbing documentary that ran on RTÉ’s Prime Time revealed the gruesome fact that hundreds of Irish babies born out of wedlock were used in medical research without their mothers’ consent. 
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Click here to read

Forced adoptions heartache
IN 1969 Robyn Cohen gave birth to a baby girl at the former Gore St public hospital in South Hobart.  She was 18 and, like thousands of other young unmarried mothers, was given no choice but to put her baby up for adoption.  Mrs Cohen is one of more than 300 women so far to give evidence to a Senate committee investigating forced adoption in Australia.
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Click here to read

Vietnam ‘eager’ to resume adoptions with Ireland 
VIETNAM is eager to treat Ireland as a "priority country" for adoption following its ratification of the Hague Convention.
Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald said a number of recent developments have taken place in relation to inter-country adoption with Vietnam and that the country is close to ratifying the convention, which ensures that international adoption occurs in the best interests of children.
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Click here to read

China Fires 12 After Inquiry on Adoptions 
BEIJING — Twelve government employees have been fired and stripped of their Communist Party membership after an investigation into allegations that family planning officials kidnapped children in an impoverished rural area in the southern Chinese province of Hunan, People’s Daily, the party’s official newspaper, reported Thursday.
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Click here to read

8th October 2011

Adoption groups demand inquiry into dissections
ADOPTION groups have received a large surge in calls to helplines following revelations that hundreds of dead babies from mother and baby homes were dissected in universities.
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Click here to read 

7th October 2011

Adoption Rights Alliance strongly condemns use of deceased infants in anatomical experiments
Adoption Rights Alliance, a group advocating for equal human and civil rights for those affected by Ireland's closed secret adoption system, has strongly condemned the use of the bodies of deceased infants in anatomical experiments, as well as the use of children in Mother and Baby Homes in vaccine trials, as reported in RTÉ’s Prime Time programme on Thursday 6th October.
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Click here to read 

400 babies were dissected at universities
HUNDREDS of dead babies from mother-and-baby homes across the country were dissected in Irish universities — without the knowledge or permission of their mothers.
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Click here to read 

6th October 2011

Adoption Authority loses second chief executive in 15 months
THE ADOPTION Authority has lost its second chief executive in just over a year after Elizabeth Canavan resigned just five months in the job.
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Click here to read 

1st October 2011

First ever agency audit uncovers 50 cases of illegal adoption
THE first ever audit of the Adoption Authority’s records has uncovered approximately 50 cases of illegal adoptions.
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Click here to read 

28th September 2011

Nepal comes to terms with foreign adoptions tragedy
Hundreds of parents in Nepal are struggling to come to terms with the fact that their children have been adopted by Western couples without their consent.
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Click here to read 

26th September 2011

Armenia Considers Changing Adoption Procedures Amid Allegations Of Corruption
YEREVAN -- The Armenian government is considering changes in its rules and procedures for international adoptions in an effort to stamp out alleged corrupt practices.
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Click here to read 

Rights of parents being put ahead of children at risk, says law expert
THE HEALTH Service Executive is pursuing an “overdeferential” approach to the rights of parents at the expense of children at risk, the Government’s special rapporteur for child protection Geoffrey Shannon has said.
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Click here to read 

7th September 2011

Guatemalan Court Rules on Child Abduction for Adoption Case
Loyda Rodriguez finally received a long-awaited Guatemalan court order on July 29, 2011, which found her daughter’s intercountry adoption to the U.S. to be illegal. The court order gives a 60-day window for return of the child.
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Click here to read 

ARGENTINA: Purging the Legal System of Dictatorship Accomplices
BUENOS AIRES, Sept 6 (IPS) - As human rights cases from Argentina's 1976-1983 military dictatorship move ahead in the courts, cases of judges and prosecutors who were accomplices in the crimes are coming to light.
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Click here to read 

6th September 2011

One Sperm Donor, 150 Offspring
Cynthia Daily and her partner used a sperm donor to conceive a baby seven years ago, and they hoped that one day their son would get to know some of his half siblings — an extended family of sorts for modern times.
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Click here to read

5th September 2011

15,000 adoption files still to be transferred over to HSE
SOME 15,000 adoption files, including those relating to controversial vaccine trials carried out on children at a mother-and-baby home run by the Sacred Heart Convent at Bessborough in Cork, have yet to be transferred to the HSE.
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Click here to read

96FM coverage of files issue
Adoption support groups are demanding to know the precise location of up to 15,000 files, once held by the Sacred Heart Adoption Society in Cork.  The agency was formerly based at the Bessboro mother & baby home in Blackrock, but also held files for Seán Ross Abbey in Tipperary and Castlepollard Home in Westmeath.  The Sacred Heart order of nuns is now under pressure to state exactly were the files are being stored, after the HSE said it doesn't yet have them.
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Click here for PJ Coogan's report

RIP June Goulding
It was with deep sadness that we belatedly learned of the death of one of our heros, June Goulding (aka June Crotty), who died in July 2010.  In her book, The Light in the Window, June courageously wrote about what she witnessed during her time as a midwife in the Sacred Heart Mother and Baby Home in Bessboro, Cork.  June will always have a special place in the hearts of those of us who are affected by Ireland's closed, secret adoption system and she has well and truly earned her place in Irish adoption history.

 

Secret jury selection held in local Russian adoption death case
A York County judge said information was withheld from court calendar and dockets intentionally.  A jury has been seated in secret for the internationally high-profile case of a York County couple accused of killing their 7-year-old adopted Russian son. The presiding judge said this was done primarily out of fear that coverage by the York Daily Record/Sunday News would taint potential jurors.
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Click here to read

31st August 2011

New photos added
New photos of St. Clare's, Stamullen, Co. Meath (kindly donated by Marie Cunniffe Stubbs) have been added to our History and Heritage section.  
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Click here to view.

Woman convicted of child abuse in alleged ploy to appear on Dr Phil
AN ALASKAN WOMAN who squirted hot sauce into the mouth of her adopted Russian son for lying about getting in trouble in school has been convicted of misdemeanor child abuse in what prosecutors said was a ploy to get on the Dr Phil TV show.
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Click here to read

Jessica Beagley, Alaska Woman, Convicted Of Child Abuse After Squirting Hot Sauce Into Adopted Son's Mouth
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A woman who squirted hot sauce into the mouth of her adopted Russian son for lying about getting in trouble in school was convicted Tuesday of misdemeanor child abuse in what prosecutors said was a ploy to get on the "Dr. Phil" TV show.
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Click here to read

A loving home, gay or straight, is what a child needs
Bishop Christopher Jones's comments on gay marriage don't address the real issue
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Click here to read

Guatemalan Court Order Rattles Foreign Adoption Community
The story about a young, missing Guatemalan girl whose mother searched for her for five years and eventually found she had been adopted by a couple in Missouri has been floating around for a couple of years now. But the latest news is that the mother, Loyda Rodriguez Morales, has essentially won her case. CNN reported on Monday that the Guatemalan government had ordered the girl returned, and that because it was considered a case of human trafficking, would call Interpol to enforce the order if the adoptive parents didn't comply. According to Erin Siegal, a fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University who's been covering the case closely, that's an unprecedented move in the world of international adoptions.
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Click here to read

22nd August 2011

‘I want my son to know he was adopted’
TRESSA REEVES, whose son was illegally adopted and registered as the natural child of the adoptive parents, says she has received no assistance from the Adoption Authority more than a year after her case was exposed.
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Click here to read

The $180,000 black market baby that may have multiple blonde, fair and blue-eyed siblings - each designed to get the highest price
New details of black market baby-selling ring emerge as lawyer says eggs, sperm came from same two donors
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Click here to read

19th August 2011

UPDATE:  Sacred Heart/Bessboro Files

It has been confirmed to the Irish Examiner that the files from Sacred Heart Adoption Society in Bessboro, Cork will be transferred to the HSE.  Note, these will include records from vaccine trials.  

All enquiries to:  HSE Adoption Unit, St. Stephen's Hospital Cork. Telephone enquiries to 021 4858650 (note, we recommend dealing with the HSE in writing).

For further information click here to read Conall O'Fatharta's article in the Irish Examiner on 19th August 2011

Note:  The files in question cover Sacred Heart Bessboro as well as Sean Ross Abbey, Roscrea and the Sacred Heart Mother and Baby Home in Castlepollard.  

18th August 2011

Universal Periodic Review
The United Nations has published it summary of stakeholder reports to the Universal Periodic Review, which includes reference to Adoption Rights Alliance's submission.  Click here to visit the UN website and download the summary.  Click here to view Adoption Rights Alliance's full submission to the UPR.  

Vaccine Trials
If you suspect you were used in a vaccine trial, you can submit an online "adverse effect" report to Glaxo SmithKline here.

Guatemala mother searched 5 years for adopted girl
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Loyda Rodriguez Morales felt someone tug at her daughter as she tried to enter her simple home with three young children in tow. She turned to see a woman whisk the 2-year-old away in a waiting taxi. 
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Click here to read

China considers clampdown on illegal adoptions
China is considering new rules to crack down on illegal adoptions in a bid to curb child trafficking, a welfare official said Tuesday, amid rising public outrage over child abduction cases.
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Click here to read

Adoption measures to be tightened
Orphanages will play pivotal role in move to tackle trafficking of children
BEIJING - The government is toughening rules to tackle the scourge of child trafficking, including making orphanages the only institutions that can offer abandoned children for adoption, an official said.
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Click here to read

11th August 2011

Adoption Rights Alliance submits legislative proposals to Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Adoption Rights Alliance has submitted a document containing proposals for legislation concerning adoption to Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald.
Click here to view the document.

10th August 2011

Vaccine trial files will not be transferred to HSE  
FILES relating to controversial vaccine trials carried out on children at a Mother and Baby Home run by the Sacred Heart Convent in Bessboro in Cork will not be transferred to the HSE.
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Click here to read

Adoption Rights Alliance statement on vaccine trial files:  

10th August 2011

Adoption Rights Alliance said the HSE's use of the word “immunisation” was a crude attempt to sanitise the non-consensual participation of adopted people in illegal drug trials and has no place in a civilised society where transparency and accountability are the order of the day.  Adopted people who were given vaccines in these trials did not receive the drugs for the purpose of 'immunisation' - these were experiments carried out on defenseless infants.

Questions must be asked as to why the Sacred Heart Adoption Society did not supply the HSE with the files relating to vaccine trials at the Sacred Heart Mother and Baby Homes.  Did Sacred Heart refuse to hand them over or did the HSE refuse to take them?

Adoption Rights Alliance is calling on the government to reinstate the inquiry into the vaccine trials.   Children were used as guinea pigs without their mothers' consent and it is simply unacceptable for the Irish state to ignore this abuse of its vulnerable citizens.  If such vaccine trials had taken place in China, the Irish government would clamber to be the first to issue condemnation.  We look forward to the day when they apply the same moral outrage to actions in which their own parties have been complicit.

9th August 2011

Adoption data at unaccredited agencies not legally protected
TENS of thousands of adoption files, some exposing illegal adoptions and birth registrations, cannot be inspected by the Adoption Authority as a number of agencies have not applied to be accredited under new legislation.
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Click here to read

Report of the Action Group on a National Records Index
In 2004 the late Brian Lenihan established a number of Advisory Groups to the Adoption Board.  One such group was the Action Group on a National Records Index.  Click here to read the report and its recommendations which have never been acted upon, resulting in the situation as reported above in the Irish Examiner.

4th August 2011

Church apology over 'forced adoptions' in Australia
THE AUSTRALIAN Catholic Church issued an apology yesterday over what have been called “forced adoptions”.
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Click here to read

China's family planning:  Illegal children will be confiscated
The one-child policy is not just a human-rights abomination; it has also worsened a demographic problem.  
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Click here to read

22nd July 2011

Not allowed to know
That a country like Ireland maintained a veil of secrecy over the illegal activities of its religious orders has long ceased to be a surprise. However, for it to allow such secrecy to persist more than a decade into the 21st century is shameful.  Yet, by seeming to rule out any chance of historic tracing and information rights to some 50,000 plus adopted people and their several hundred thousand natural parents and relatives, children’s minister Frances Fitzgerald will help continue that legacy.
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Click here to read

20th July 2011

10,000 CHILDREN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILIES 
AT LEAST 10,000 young children have been dragged from their families and needlessly adopted due to a flawed target at the heart of Government, it was claimed last night.
Vulnerable children were handed over in their thousands under a New Labour crusade driven by artificial adoption targets.
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Click here to read

Nancy meets her mum (92) for first time
A 77-year-old Dublin woman who had been searching for her birth mother for 25 years has finally been reunited with her in Australia.
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Click here to read

Argentina 'stolen baby' cases legacy of Dirty War
Francisco Madariaga is blunt about how most of his life has been until now.  "I spent 32 years living a lie," he says.  Mr Madariaga, 33, used to be called Alejandro Ramiro Gallo, the name given to him by his adoptive parents.  Last year he came face-to-face for the first time with his real father and confirmed his fears.
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Click here to read

15th July 2011

No timescale for audit results of adoption body
MORE than a year after it began an audit of its tracing and information records to identify any cases involving illegal activity, the Adoption Authority (AAI) has still not offered a timescale as to its completion or if the findings will be made public.
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Click here to read

1st July 2011

Irish Examiner Feature Piece
For people who are adopted, tracing their birth mother can be an arduous task. Rachel Borrill talks to three women about their emotional experiences.
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Click here to read

18th June 2011

Full scale of illegal adoptions remains unknown says Health Minister
The full scale of illegal adoptions and birth registrations in Ireland prior to the 1970s is unknown, the government has admitted.
Click here to read this IrishCentral.com article
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Click here to read

Profit, not care: The ugly side of overseas adoptions
Lax regulation and an endless demand by childless couples in the West has created an often exploitative market in babies born in the developing world
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Click here to read

Adoption 'donations' encourage crime
The industry insiders said that overseas families wishing to adopt a Chinese child almost always make donations to the welfare home, leading homes to put up more children for adoption and resort to illegal practices to find more children, Xinhua reported.
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Click here to read

Nigerian 'baby farm' raided – 32 pregnant girls rescued
Teenage mothers were allegedly forced to give up newborns to human traffickers in southern city of Aba.  Nigerian police have raided an alleged "baby farm" where teenage mothers were forced to give up their newborns for sale to human traffickers.
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Click here to read

Nigeria 'baby farm' girls rescued by Abia state police
Nigerian police have raided a hospital in the south-eastern city of Aba, rescuing 32 pregnant girls allegedly held by a human-trafficking ring.
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Click here to read

17th June 2011

Adoption Rights Alliance response to the Adoption Authority Draft Corporate Plan
Click here to view the Adoption Rights Alliance submission to the Adoption Authority Corporate Plan Consultation Survey.

16th June 2011

Reilly: Scale of illegal adoptions is unknown
THE Government has admitted it has no idea as to the scale of illegal adoptions and birth registrations facilitated by more than 40 mother-and-baby homes which closed in 1972. 
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Click here to read

Adoption Rights Alliance statement on the Adoption Authority Corporate Plan

16th June 2011
Adoption Rights Alliance Spokesperson Susan Lohan said:  "We are appalled that in the Adoption Authority of Ireland’s (AAI) national consultation survey, the management and staff of the AAI and their Board Members failed to include the provision of Information and Tracing services (including the already established National Adoption Contact Preference Register) to Ireland's 50,000+ adopted people and their several hundred thousand relatives.

"Adoption is not a point of sale transaction, it is a life changing event with generation-wide consequences. These glaring omissions vindicate all of the deep misgivings that Adoption Rights Alliance and its predecessors have had about the integrity of the Adoption Authority (Adoption Board) over the last 2 decades", Susan Lohan said. She added "that it appeared that the AAI were no longer even pretending to be interested in the needs of adopted adults desperately seeking information on their origins".

Claire McGettrick, co-founder of Adoption Rights Alliance called for the AAI to urgently reboot their entire mindset regarding adoption and said that the organisation would be seeking clarification from Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Children, AAI Chairman Geoffrey Shannon and CEO Elizabeth Canavan at the earliest opportunity.

Ends.

Click here to view the Adoption Authority Corporate Plan from 2004.

Adoption Authority Corporate Plan
From the Adoption Authority website:  "To assist the Adoption Authority of Ireland in the development of a Corporate Plan for the years 2011-2014 your views on the draft mission and objectives of the organisation are sought through the consultation form at the link below."

Please note:  Incredibly, this survey has completely omitted references to the delivery of tracing and information services.  We encourage you to express your views to the Adoption Authority of Ireland.

Click here to participate in the survey. [Link disabled as survey is now completed - click here to email the Adoption Authority if you have feedback on their services - please cc Adoption Rights Alliance in correspondence.]

Note:  Closing date is tomorrow Friday 17th June 2011

9th June 2011

Adopted adults have a right to know details
I READ the recent article in the Irish Examiner concerning historic rights of adopted adults by Claire O’Sullivan.  I was upset at the flippant remark made by Minister Frances Fitzgerald in her radio interview with Pat Kenny (June 2) when she said that historic tracing will not be made available to adopted adults and that "some people will be disappointed".
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Click here to read

6th June 2011

JFM welcomes UN Committee recommendation for statutory inquiry and redress for Magdalenes, prosecution and punishment of perpetrators

The UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) today issued its Concluding Observations” following the first examination of the Irish State under the UN Convention Against Torture.   The Committee reiterated its calls for an independent investigation into the Magdalene Laundries abuse and redress for the women who suffered. It also recommended that the State “
prosecute and punish the perpetrators with penalties commensurate with the gravity of the offences committed.”

Click here to visit Justice for Magdalenes' website for further details.

3rd June 2011

Journalist wins top Law Society award for exposing illegal adoption scandals
Congratulations to Conall Ó'Fatharta of the Irish Examiner from Adoption Rights Alliance in winning the top prize at the prestigious Justice Media Awards for his work in exposing illegal adoptions in Ireland.

To date, no action has been taken by the Irish State or the Adoption Authority to resolve the issue of illegal adoptions.  Promises were made by Adoption Authority Chairman Geoffrey Shannon to deal with the issue, yet Registrar Kiernan Gildea said months later that no investigations would be carried out.  No arrests have been made and no assistance given to  reunite the people affected.

Click here to read Conall Ó'Fatharta's articles from April 2010.

From the Law Society's Justice Media Awards:

"The winner of the Justice Media Award in the ‘Daily Newspapers’ category is Conall Ó Fátharta (Irish Examiner) for his article ‘Adoption in Ireland’.

What the judges said:

"The Justice Media Award in this category is being presented for an excellent series on the legal quagmire of illegal adoptions. This two-day series looked at one woman’s 30-year search to find her son, whom she subsequently discovered had been illegally adopted after being placed in the care of the St Patrick’s Guild adoption agency in Dublin. It transpired that the boy’s birth had been falsely registered through the nursing home where Tressa Reeve had given birth. This effectively removed all legal evidence that she had ever given birth to her son André, and was done without her knowledge or consent.

"The writer of this article challenged the Adoption Board to reveal the full extent of the number of such adoptions that had been carried out in the State – but failed to receive any satisfactory answers. Part 2 in this series focused on what was then the Adoption Bill 2009 – subsequently the Adoption Act 2010. While primarily focused on ratifying the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and consolidating previous adoption legislation, the author discovered that the new legislation avoided giving adopted people and natural parents any legal rights relating to the tracing of relatives, or the release of information for medical purposes.

"This article contained an excellent review of current adoption laws, revealed the difficulties encountered by natural parents and adopted children through a number of case studies, and fairly criticised the failure of the Government to enact legislation to assist adopted children and their natural parents to trace each other.""

Historic adoptees will not have legal right to trace parents 
ADULTS who were put up for adoption when they were babies are not going to be given legal entitlement to trace their natural parents, according to the Minister for Children.  For the past decade adoption groups have been lobbying for legislation giving rights on family information and tracing.
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Click here to read

Click here to email Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald 

Examiner journalist scoops top award

IRISH Examiner journalist Conall Ó Fatharta has won one of the highest accolades on offer at the Justice Media Awards for his outstanding exposé on Ireland’s illegal adoption scandal.  Conall was awarded the top prize in the daily newspaper category — a section dominated entirely by three Irish Examiner reporters — after a series of exclusive stories on the hidden crisis.

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Click here to read

Click here to read Conall Ó'Fatharta's articles from April 2010.

2nd June 2011

Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald on Today with Pat Kenny 
Today Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald was interviewed on Radio One with Chairperson of the Adoption Authority of Ireland, Geoffrey Shannon.  In just a few sentences she (and Pat Kenny) demonstrated a total lack of regard for the dignity and much sought after information rights of the 50,000 people adopted under the 1952 legislation.  Though we emailed and phoned the Today with Pat Kenny programme, no comments were aired.  

Adoption Rights Alliance is currently completing a Legislative Proposals Submission for the Minister for Children, due to be sent in the coming weeks.  

If you disagree with Minister Fitzgerald, please let your voice be heard and email her at:  omc@health.gov.ie or frances.fitzgerald@oir.ie 

Click here to listen to the mp3 of the interview and a transcription of the relevant section is below:

Frances Fitzgerald:  “...I think you can bring in tracing legislation, I think probably not historic, not going backwards but from current best practice going forward that the child would have access you know, for example, to birth certs, to detailed information.”  

Pat Kenny:  “But there’s no question of changing historical traceability because Ireland is a very small country and a lot of the time in the past we know that adoptions were made for reasons of family shame and all the rest of it…”  

Frances Fitzgerald:  “Exactly.  I think that would be very difficult and there will be people who will be very disappointed hearing that but what I think we need to do in the meantime is build up very good services and we’re doing that, where people who do want to trace have access to high quality counselling and information on both sides – the mother who has given up the child and the person who is looking  for information.  There have been some very very sad situations where if that had been done people would have had access but didn’t and then somebody had died and they never got to meet their birth mother when they wanted to.”

31st May 2011

New photos uploaded
New photos of Sean Ross Abbey and Castlepollard have been uploaded to our History and Heritage page.  

If you have any photos, sample records, stories or other items you would like to donate, please contact us at heritage@adoptionrightsalliance.com 

26th May 2011

‘Illegal’ babies abducted by Chinese population control officials
As Beijing continues to vigorously pursue its infamous one-child policy, PRI has gathered evidence showing that Chinese villagers who cannot afford to pay these fines have their “illegal” children abducted and sold by Chinese population control officials.
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Click here to read

21st May 2011

Big strides made in Vietnam’s adoption service
SENIOR members of the Adoption Authority have met with the Children’s Minister to report on "important improvements" in Vietnam’s inter-country adoption procedures.

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Click here to read

Adoption scandal exposed by muckraking Chinese journalists
GAOPING, HUNAN PROVINCE – Until this year, Yang Libing, whose daughter was taken from him by family planning authorities, would receive visits from one or two Chinese journalists every year.
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Click here to read

China probes child trafficking, adoption link
BEIJING, May 10, 2011 (AFP) - China has launched a probe into the abduction of children allegedly born in violation of population control policies then trafficked by officials into adoptions worldwide, an official said Tuesday.
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Click here to read

Chinese babies sold abroad for adoption for £2,000
Chinese babies were sold abroad for adoption for up to £2,000 each after they were forcibly seized by officials enforcing China's one-child policy, an investigation has claimed.
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Click here to read

China province probes sale of "illegal children"
BEIJING (Reuters) - A southern Chinese province has begun investigating a report that officials had seized at least 16 babies born in violation of strict family planning rules, sent them to welfare centers and then sold them abroad for adoption.
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Click here to read

23rd April 2011

Playing politics with adopted children's rights
DAVID QUINN's concern for the welfare of adopted children and those conceived via sperm and egg donation is touching (Irish Independent, April 8, 2011).  However, we must strenuously object to the issue of adopted people's rights being hijacked for the purpose of illustrating Mr Quinn's argument against gay marriage. Children who are in need of homes are not concerned with labels like marriage or civil partnership; rather, these children are looking for security and that security must not come at the price of losing your identity or access to family, culture and heritage.
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Click here to read

"I felt like I was dead ... and my life was a lie"
Eight years ago Theresa Tinggal discovered she was illegally adopted. Now aged 56, Theresa, like many others, is still fighting for information about the circumstances of her birth. She tells Conall Ó Fátharta about her quest to find her true identity and the obstacles that remain in her way.
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Click here to read

22nd April 2011

Adi Roche optimistic about future of Belarusian adoptions
"Claire McGettrick of the Adoption Rights Alliance told TheJournal.ie that in each prospective adoption case, every effort should be made to locate the child’s parents and ascertain their family situation before going ahead with the adoption."
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Click here to read

18th April 2011

Rights of children key issue in applying best practice to inter-country adoption
IN ADVANCE of an Irish delegation from the Adoption Authority travelling to meet the relevant authorities in Vietnam about the possibility of proceeding with adoptions from that country to Ireland, it is timely to discuss the need to apply rigorous standards to the inter-country adoption process.
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Click here to read

13th April 2011

Adoption chiefs to go to Vietnam over fears
OFFICIALS from the Adoption Authority are to travel to Vietnam to examine if the "profound concerns" raised in a number of international reports about adoption practices in the country have been addressed. 

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Click here to read

Minister asks Adoption Authority to assess situation in Vietnam
THE MINISTER FOR CHILDREN Frances Fitzgerald has asked the Adoption Authority chairman to visit Vietnam to assess how the country has improved its foreign adoption system.
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Click here to read

Adoption board chief to visit Vietnam
The chairman of the Adoption Authority of Ireland is to travel to Vietnam to assess what progress has been made in addressing concerns which led the Government to suspend all adoptions from there in January 2010.
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Click here to read

Minister for Children & Youth Affairs Fitzgerald asks Adoption Authority to visit Vietnam
Minister Fitzgerald has today asked the Chairman of the Adoption Authority to visit Vietnam to assess current standards in their ratification of the Hague Convention. 
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Click here to read

12th April 2011

Vietnam adoption deal unlikely until concerns resolved
THE Adoption Authority will ensure all of the "very serious issues" that caused the suspension of adoptions from Vietnam are addressed before any administrative agreement is agreed with the south-east Asian country.
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Click here to read

Family's struggle to adopt their ninth troubled child
Over the past two decades Sue and her husband Jim have successfully adopted eight of the most troubled children in the care system, but when they took on seven-year-old Maisie they feared even they did not have the skills to cope with her. Was she too damaged to adopt?
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Click here to read

10th April 2011

Census 2011
Tonight is Census night - please make sure to fill out your Census Form.  As part of our campaign of alerting the general population about closed, secret adoption, we are suggesting answers for key questions that effect adopted people. 
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Click here for more.

7th April 2011

Sensitivity in adoption contact
Madam, – Aoibhin Ní Mhaille (April 4th) shows her respect and concern for her parents and her desire to have them kept informed about any tracing developments. While she is certainly entitled to her feelings in the matter, I would take a different view of the agency’s conduct.
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Click here to read

Secrets, lies and an identity denied
An Irish woman who learned she was an illegal adoptee eight years ago believes there are Irish people in Australia also fighting to access files on who their natural parents are.
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Click here to read

4th April 2011

Minister seeks to reopen Vietnam for Irish adoptions
THE GOVERNMENT will begin talks on securing a new administrative agreement with Vietnam shortly to help reopen the southeast Asian state for Irish couples pursuing intercountry adoptions. 
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Click here to read

Sensitivity needed in adoption contact
A chara, – As an adopted adult I recently received a shoddily- written HSE letter from the agency that arranged my adoption informing me that contact had been made by “someone I may have known in the past”.
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Click here to read

Sunday Times Article
Click here to read an article from the Sunday Times of 4th April 2011, regarding Alan Stanford's adoption.  (Please note this is a large pdf file and it may take some time to download.)

30th March 2011

Adoption agency re-accredited
A RELIGIOUS-run adoption agency which facilitated a number of illegal adoptions and which exported over 500 "illegitimate" children to the US has been re-accredited by the Adoption Authority.
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Click here to read

28th March 2011

Adoption is for children, not adults
ALTHOUGH Bulgaria has signed the Hague Convention for the Protection of Children in Intercountry Adoption (Irish Examiner, March 25) and therefore Irish couples are within their rights under Irish law to seek adoptions from there, we fear that in the effort to find "available" children to adopt, that the principles of Hague are often forgotten about.
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Click here to read

The stolen children
They were sent from Irish orphanages to Australia with the promise of freedom. Instead, writes Declan Cashin, our child migrants battled with abuse and slave labour.
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Click here to read

Wikileaks on Romanian Adoptions
Wikileaks has exposed that the US was using the Visa-Waiver programme to try to negotiate international adoptions.
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Click here for more.

24th March 2011

Foreigners Looking to Adopt Japanese Earthquake Orphans Need Not Apply
Foreigners looking to adopt a Japanese child orphaned by the recent earthquake may be surprised to know their help, in that respect, is not wanted at the moment. 
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Click here to read

New Illegal Adoptions Website
We have been asked to pass on the details of a new website for people who were illegally adopted.  Click here to view.

22nd March 2011

East-Asian orphans illegally adopted and abused
Children in Cambodian and Vietnamese orphanages are being abused and adopted illegally, says a UNICEF representative.
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Click here to read

21st March 2011

Universal Periodic Review
Adoption Rights Alliance has submitted its main report to the United Nations for the Universal Periodic Review, during which Ireland will be examined by other UN countries on our human rights record.  We have also submitted reports to the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Rights Now campaign.
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Click here to view the submissions.

17th March 2011

Adoptees deserve adult treatment
Mary Kenny's article (Irish Independent, March 14) contains a number of good points: a loving and supportive family provides the best start in life for most people and some mothers do feel adoption gives their child a better chance in life.  

However, I believe that Joan Burton's elevation to Cabinet is neither an endorsement nor a criticism of adoption practice. For example, if Ms Burton singlehandedly destroys any semblance of social protection during her time as minister, will there be a similar article condemning adoption or supportive families?
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Click here to read more

To read Mary Kenny's article click here 

16th March 2011

Most adopted people here face monumental brick wall
Mary Kenny's opinion piece portrays only one side of Ireland's closed secret adoption system.  We agree with Ms Kenny that Joan Burton is an inspirational person, and are proud to see an adopted person in Cabinet. However, we must vehemently disagree that her case is 'a shining example of good practice' in adoption.
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Click here to read Adoption Rights Alliance's letter in the Irish Independent in response to Mary Kenny's recent article.

15th March 2011

I was 'given up' as a child–not 'placed'
I WAS ‘given up' for adoption by my birth mother, so forgive me for being absolutely disgusted, angry and insulted by Mary Kenny's article, especially where she says she wants to use the term ‘placed for adoption' rather than ‘given up for adoption' as this implies rejection.
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Click here to read more

Burton reveals birth mother sadness
New minister Joan Burton yesterday shrugged off controversy over not being appointed to a finance portfolio and revealed her deep emotion about being sent a photograph of her birth mother on the day she was appointed to Cabinet.
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Click here to read

Ethica Report on Nepalese Adoptions
Orphaned or stolen? The US State Department investigates adoption from Nepal, 2006-2008
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Click here to read

Nigerian Medical Council Condemns Baby Factory Clinics
The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) has condemned as unethical, the practice by some medical doctors who use young girls as baby factories to produce babies for sale
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Click here to read

10th March 2011

Romania detains two Italians for child trafficking
Romanian authorities have detained two Italians for child smuggling and using a false identity after they allegedly tried to illegally take a Romanian newborn to Italy, prosecutors said Thursday.
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Click here to read

9th-10th March 2011

Housekeepers for priests were exploited: study
A STUDY on priests’ housekeepers’ lives presented for International Women’s Day found they were exploited, underpaid and worked from as young as 13. 
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Click here to read

6th March 2011

Programme for government
A flicker of good news from the programme for government: "We will modernise and reform outdated elements of family law. We will enact legislation to consolidate and reform the law on adoption."

Human Rights Submissions Uploaded
In October of this year, Ireland will be examined by other UN countries on our human rights record, otherwise known as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).  This is the first time that this will happen.  In anticipation of this review, Adoption Rights Alliance has made submissions to both the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Irish Council of Civil Liberties' "Rights Now" campaign.  We will also be submitting a report directly to the United Nations.  
Click here to view the submissions.

How blue-eyed Irish boy won icon's heart
She was the 'mean, moody and magnificent' queen of Hollywood, but to a little Irish boy, she was just 'mom'. And when 89-year-old screen legend Jane Russell died of respiratory failure at her home in Santa Maria, California last Monday morning, Tom Waterfield, the son whom she adopted from an impoverished Irish couple, was by her side, as ever.
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Click here to read

Ethiopia to Cut Foreign Adoptions by Up to 90 Percent
Ethiopia is cutting back by as much as 90 percent the number of inter-country adoptions it will allow, as part of an effort to clean up a system rife with fraud and corruption. Adoption agencies and children’s advocates are concerned the cutbacks will leave many Ethiopian orphans without the last-resort option of an adoptive home abroad.
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Click here to read

New details on Grace Farrell, woman who froze to death in NY
Farrell was born out of wedlock to a young unmarried couple in the 1970s Ireland.  Due to the stigma related to having a child out of marriage, Grace’s mother gave her up for adoption.  For the first six years of her life, Grace lived in a happy environment with her new family. However, because the adoption was not finalized Grace was forced to return to the foster care system.
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Click here to read

4th March 2011

Attention - calling all of Ireland's "Banished Babies"!

The Irish Times reported on Friday 25th February that the Adoption Authority sent a delegation to the US in the previous week to discuss intercountry adoption. (Article available here

Click here to read why Irish people should not be adopting from the US and what you can do to complain.

1st March 2011

Argentina's ex-military leaders tried over baby thefts
Two former military leaders have gone on trial in Argentina, accused of overseeing the systematic theft of babies from political prisoners. 
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Click here to read 

Hollywood star Jane Russell dies at 89
Over 2,000 Irish children (that we know of) were secretly sent from Ireland to the US for adoption.  Perhaps the most famous adoptive mother involved in these adoptions was Jane Russell.  Click here to read the BBC News report of her death.

Birth fathers can get in touch
"There is now more support and help available for fathers looking to trace a child given up for adoption."  Click here to read Sheila Wayman's article in the Irish Times. 

PLEASE NOTE:  While Adoption Rights Alliance encourages people to register with the National Adoption Contact Preference Register (NACPR), it would be remiss of us to allow people tracing to get the wrong impression from the article above.  The NACPR has never been operated in the manner first envisaged in that it has not been widely publicised (apart from the initial coverage), we have not seen it advertised internationally and the promise of an additional mailout of leaflets in 2007 never happened.  

Adoption Rights Alliance also takes issue with the manner in which people matched on the NACPR are automatically sent to their adoption agency (now known as "accredited bodies") for the reunion to be processed.  We encourage people to not be afraid to object to their adoption agency's involvement if this is something they are not comfortable with.  

The NACPR is a useful tool in the search process, but it does not mean that the Adoption Authority is tracing for your family member.  Should you wish to trace, please visit our Search and Reunion page here

24th February 2011

Bessboro Photos
Our US Coordinator Mari Steed has uploaded a set of photos from Bessboro to her Flickr feed. Click here to view.  See further photos and information about agencies and Mother & Baby Homes at our History & Heritage page.

23rd February 2011

Beyond the economy:  Church abuse should be a serious election concern
Click here to read the joint letter written to the main Irish newspapers by James M. Smith, Associate Professor, English Department, Boston College, Mari Steed, Director, Justice for Magdalenes, Claire McGettrick, Adoption Rights Alliance, Paddy Doyle, Author: “The God Squad,” Moderator, www.paddydoyle.com, Maeve O’Rourke, Harvard University Law School Global Human Rights Fellow.

Click here for the letter as it appeared in today's Irish Times.

22nd February 2011

Making a drama out of a crisis
Responding to news of the seizure of more than 1,000 abortion pills by the IMB, Dr Juliet Bressan examines the issue from the perspective of those facing into a crisis pregnancy. 
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Click here to read

WikiLeaks brings to light suspected baby trafficking from Egypt to Canada
The RCMP and Canadian consular officials in Cairo have been investigating up to a dozen cases where couples are suspected of having trafficked babies from Egypt into Canada, according to leaked diplomatic cables. 
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Click here to read

Spanish mother reunited with daughter she was told had died at birth
Case is latest in growing scandal over babies allegedly stolen by doctors and sold for adoption over several decades.
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Click here to read

FRANCO ‘STOLE BABIES’ CLAIM
HUNDREDS of parents in Spain who believe their babies were stolen and sold to wealthy couples in a scandal dating back to the Franco regime have demanded an official investigation.
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Click here to read

Bulgarian, Greek police break up baby trafficking ring
BULGARIAN and Greek police have arrested 14 people who allegedly trafficked newborn babies to Greece, Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said yesterday. 
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Click here to read

24th January 2011

Controversy over vaccine trial files
PARTICIPANTS in controversial vaccine trials in mother-and-baby homes have been told by the Department of Health that it can’t give them their medical files or any trial documentation as it is legally bound to return the files to the drugs company.
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Click here to read

Adoption board members attend only fraction of meetings in 5-year period
SOME Adoption Board members attended just a fraction of board meetings between 2005 and 2009, a period in which the organisation was embroiled in high-profile scandals.
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Click here to read

22nd January 2011

State body digs heels in over drug-trial documents
GOVERNMENT officials have not yet decided what to do with sensitive files on controversial vaccine trials carried out on Irish infants.
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Click here to read

Delivering her verdict on childbirth
Click here for an interesting article from Dr Juliet Bressan in the Irish Medical Times on childbirth in Ireland, in which she makes reference to our damning history in the treatment of women in crisis pregnancies. 

See below for information regarding a recent EU debate on intercountry adoptions:

Irish Times:  MEPs debate Romanian adoptions 

Irish Examiner:  MEPs look for relaxation of EU adoption rules 

Can Korea shed image of orphan exporter?
South Korea has a notorious reputation of an “orphan exporter” over the years as thousands of abandoned children here have been adopted by foreigners, mostly Americans and Europeans.
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Click here to read 

11th January 2011

Accreditation of adoption bodies to be completed
THE Adoption Authority is to complete the process of accrediting bodies wishing to provide adoption services in the coming weeks.  The news comes following the confirmation that two members of the Adoption Authority, Dr Helen Greally, and medical practitioner Dr Cyril McNulty, have stood down in recent weeks.
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Click here to read

The 30,000 lost children of the Franco years are set to be saved from oblivion
Pressure is growing to illuminate the fate decreed by the Spanish dictator to the families of his Republican enemies.
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Click here to read 

Vaccine trial victims in court bid to lift veil on experiments
VICTIMS of controversial vaccine trials are taking a High Court case to get confidential records on the medical experiments carried out on them as children in the care of the State.
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Click here to read 

The Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network
The Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network advocates for the rights of unwed pregnant women, unwed mothers and their children in Korea. The Network’s goal is to enable Korean women to have sufficient resources and support to keep their babies if they choose, and thrive in Korean society, rather than feel compelled to give up their children for adoption or risk a life of poverty.
Click here to visit their website

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“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning . . . and the most disquieting loneliness." 

Alex Haley, Author of Roots 



 

 

 

 

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