...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.

 

 


3rd December 2012

RTÉ History Show 2nd December 2012
Claire McGettrick, co-founder of Adoption Rights Alliance is interviewed as part of a report on the 1952 Adoption Act on RTÉ's History Show.

Right click here and choose "Save link as" to download the podcast.

RTÉ The Frontline 5th November 2012
Susan Lohan, co-founder of Adoption Rights Alliance on The Frontline, discussing the Children's Referendum.

 

 

1,000 adoption link-ups 'derisory'
MORE than 1,000 adopted people and their birth relatives have been reunited by the National Adoption Register.
However, an advocate for adopted people has described this figure as "derisory" and said more needs to be done to publicise the register.
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to read

19th November 2012

Family’s dream Christmas reunion becomes a reality
A couple who gave their first child up for adoption almost three decades ago are dreaming of the perfect Christmas family reunion.
Bridget and Jimmy Dineen, from Skibbereen in West Cork, popped champagne corks yesterday after their son, John, won a competition that will help him pay for his flight home from Australia for Christmas. 
Their first-born, Katherine, with whom they were reunited last year after giving her up for adoption in England in 1983, is also flying in to Cork for Christmas with her birth parents. 

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18th November 2012

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH Sunday 18th November 10.30pm on RTÉ One
The Moment of Truth is a brand new four-part series, in which Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh talks to people who have made difficult and life-changing religious and ethical decisions.

In the first programme Collette Stratford talks about giving her child up for adoption. Collette grew up in Galway in the 1960s. At 17, Collette realised she was pregnant. She desperately wanted to keep her baby, but her family persuaded her that an adoption would be better. Collette had just eleven precious days together with her baby boy before he was given over to an adoption agency. That moment has haunted Collette ever since. She was determined to find her son again. But would he want to be found…?

 

 

5th November 2012

Most birth cert requests by adopted people denied
The vast majority of adopted people who requested their full birth certificate have been turned down.  New figures show the Adoption Authority granted just 11 of the almost 60 requests made to it last year. 
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11th October 2012

Letters to the papers....

Click here to read Joan Reidy's letter to the Irish Times

9th October 2012

'Trafficked' by Mannix Flynn

THE GATHERING IRELAND - Bringing home the Irish citizens that were sold abroad...

Click here to visit Mannix Flynn's website for information on this piece dedicated to those who were sent from Ireland to America for adoption.  Once such person, featured in Mannix's exhibition is Adoption Rights Alliance US Coordinator, Mari Steed.

Debate on 31st Amendment to the Constitution (Children) Bill 2012

Click here to view excerpts from a recent Seanad debate on the Children's Rights Amendment in which  Senator Jillian van Turnhout raised the issue of the right to identity.

8th October 2012

Group seeks rights for illegally adopted
A GROUP CAMPAIGNING for the rights of those ‘informally’ or ‘illegally’ adopted have held a demonstration calling for their right to be recognised in new adoption legislation due for review at the end of this year.
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Forcibly adopted women demand files
Two women who lived for years not knowing they had been forcibly adopted have called for official State records to be opened to try and trace their birth mothers.
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Click here to read more about illegal adoptions

Letters to the papers....

Click here to read Grainne Mason's letter to the Irish Times from 4th October, 2012

Recent Parliamentary Questions

1. DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Ms. Fitzgerald) by Deputy Clare Daly for WRITTEN ANSWER on 25/09/2012:

To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to deal with the issue of adopted persons right to access their own information with regard to their adoptions..

2. DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Ms. Fitzgerald) by Deputy Clare Daly for ORAL ANSWER on 26/09/2012:

To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the Adoption Amendment Bill will address the problems experienced by adopted persons in relation to their information rights following the 1998 Supreme Court (IOT vs B) ruling; and if not, the steps she will take to secure their information and tracing rights as a matter of urgency..

3. DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Ms. Fitzgerald) by Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin for WRITTEN ANSWER on 25/09/2012: 

To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if comments she made in Topical Debates earlier this year (details supplied) will mean that upon the pending signing of an agreement on intercountry adoption between Ireland and Vietnam, Vietnamese-born children with special needs will not be afforded the full protections, safeguards and rights as set out under the terms of the Hague Convention on Protection and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

Click here  to read the responses from Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald

1st October 2012

Group demands changes to offer adopted people basic rights
The Government has been urged to offer basic legal rights to adopted people before allowing for children in care and marital children to be legally adopted.
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Changes to General Register Office Research Room Procedures
According to the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations' (CIGO) website, the following changes have taken place at the General Register Office:

"Now, up to three persons can work on foot of one General Search fee and can collectively take up to five years of indexes from the shelves at any one time. Further, each person on a General Search is now entitled to up to eight uncertified copies (photocopies) of register entries, rather than five, as had been the case until now."

Many thanks to CIGO for their efforts in lobbying for this positive change.  We will be updating our Tracing Handbooks to reflect these changes in due course.

Click here to visit the CIGO website (see News, 20th September)

2nd September 2012

Sold to America:  The tragedy and trauma of Ireland's baby export business
Irish children born to unmarried mothers in the 1950s and 60s were taken without their mothers' consent to be adopted by American families deemed unsuitable by state authorities. It is now time that those responsible are called to account for what were frequently illegal transactions.

Click here to download a PDF of Mike Milotte's feature in today's Sunday Business Post.

See below for Adoption Rights Alliance statement in response to Mike Milotte's article:

Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA), which advocates for equal human and civil rights for those affected by Ireland's closed, secret and forced adoption system has called on the government to establish an inquiry into the state sanctioned illegal trafficking of over 2,000 children from Ireland to the United States.

ARA's US Coordinator, Mari Steed, who is one of those illegally sent from Ireland to the US for adoption said: "Sixteen years have passed since Minister for Justice Alan Shatter called for an inquiry into the US Adoption Scheme. One year later in 1997, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald acknowledged that 'denial of access to information about one's origins is denial of a basic human right'. Ministers Fitzgerald and Shatter are now in government and the time has come to honour their statements." 

Sixty years after the legalisation of adoption, even the most basic adoption information rights have yet to be given a statutory footing. No investigations or prosecutions have taken place into the criminal acts of those involved in trafficking children from Ireland to the US. In contrast, St. Patrick's Guild, the church-run agency responsible for the majority of Irish-US adoptions, was accredited under the 2010 Adoption Act. Most worrying is the ongoing trafficking of children from exporting countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Vietnam and even the US (Florida), feeding a growing demand from Irish adopters.

Other countries such as Australia have acknowledged and apologised for forced and illegal adoptions. Ireland has taken the first step towards acknowledging its past failings towards children and their families through the Ryan Report and the apology that preceded it. It is now time to critically review, investigate and make amends for those same failings in cross-connected socially experimental ‘industries’ like adoption, including illegal placements and medical experimentation on vulnerable children without parental consent.

25th August 2012

Blog Awards Ireland
Samantha Long's blog post In praise of my two mothers - Mothers Day as an adopted daughter has been nominated in the best blog post category of Blog Awards Ireland. Click here to vote for Sam! (Scroll down to 'mammisammi')

9th June 2012

Mexican authorities return babies seized in trafficking case to their biological mothers
MEXICO CITY — Mexican authorities have returned to their biological mothers all but one of the babies ensnared in an apparent illegal adoption ring providing children to Irish couples, the women’s lawyers said Monday.
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30th May 2012

Susan Lohan and Claire McGettrick from Adoption Rights Alliance with Felice Gaer, Vice Chair of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT), who spoke (in a personal capacity) on Monday 28th May at an event co-sponsored by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and Justice for Magdalenes to mark the one year follow up deadline for Ireland with UNCAT. 

HSE gave funds to unaccredited adoption agency
The HSE has continued to fund an adoption agency despite it not being accredited to carry out any adoption services since Nov 2010.  The HSE confirmed the Helping Hands Mediation Agency, based in Cork, was funded to the tune of €35,000 in 2012.
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‘No plans’ to inspect all adoption files
The Adoption Authority has said it has "no plans" to inspect all the files held by accredited adoption agencies, despite evidence that some have arranged illegal adoptions.
  Frances Fitzgerald, the children’s minister, said the HSE has not carried out a review of the adoption files it holds. This is despite the body previously admitting that some agencies held files containing evidence of illegal birth registrations.  Numerous cases of illegality have come to the attention of this newspaper since 2010 and adoption groups believe the total could run into thousands.
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19th May 2012

Priority Question on Illegal Adoptions

Clare Daly (Dublin North, Socialist Party):

Question 90: To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to the his response to questions on access to and safeguarding of records of de facto illegal adoptions (details supplied), the number of such records held by the Health Service Executive; the number of cases that were identified in the audit, relating to the pre-1952 period and the number that relate to the post 1952 Act period; the number of cases believed to contravene the Adoption Act(s) that have been notified and to which appropriate authorities; when these cases were notified to these authorities and the reports she has received regarding actions taken on foot of the notification of the contravention of the Adoption Act(s).

Click here  to read the response from Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald

Adoption body still refers tracing clients to unaccredited agency
The Adoption Authority is still referring adopted people tracing their natural parents to an agency that is not legally allowed provide any related service.
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to read

Adoption Rights Alliance Statement Regarding Closed Adoption Agencies

The AAI have known since the enactment of the new Adoption Bill in November 2010, that several religious run adoption agencies, including St Brigids, the Coombe, were closing and that their records would be inaccessible to people searching for their families until they could be taken over by the HSE or by the Authority itself.

We are gravely concerned that a year and a half later, neither of these state funded bodies has seen fit to create an efficient process for the safeguarding of these vital files and the provision of continued access to them for search and reunion services. If such a complete shutdown of any other public service occurred, there would be national outcry. 

These files are adopted people’s only source of family information and without them the tracing and reunion process is impossible. These completely avoidable delays - during which in our experience, people will inevitably die - send a clear message to adopted people and natural parents that once again they are simply not a priority.

Susan Lohan and Claire McGettrick pointed out that all of this distress would be completely preventable if any of the governments over the last 60 years had the humanity to recognise the rights of adopted people to know their own identities and had legislated for information rights as enjoyed by our peers in the UK since the 1970s. They called on the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald to expedite legislation to provide full retrospective information rights so vital for those caught up in Ireland’s closed, secret and forced adoption system.

First encounters
EVANNE NÍ CHUILINN is an RTÉ sports broadcaster, presenter and columnist for Irish-language newspaper Foinse. She has been nominated Columnist of the Year in the Oireachtas Media Awards. Winners will be announced next Friday. Evanne, who is from Kilkenny, lives in Drimnagh with her partner Brian Fitzsimons and six-week-old son Séimí 

‘I WAS BORN on Hallowe’en night, 1981, and Mam and Dad got me in early 1982. There was never a time I didn’t know I was adopted. They had this mantra: ‘You’re our special adopted daughter.’ They were open to my curiosity, nurtured my wish to know my birth mother, Mary. They wrote letters to the adoption agency updating my progress. And Mary had always sent gifts on my birthday, signing them ‘from Mary’ – it was very respectful of my mam, which I appreciated. She had named me Eva and my parents honoured that and added Anne to my name, after Dad’s mother.
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Click here
to read

20th April 2012

Press Release:  Adoption Rights Alliance strongly condemns Mulherin comments
Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) which advocates for equal human and civil rights for those affected by Ireland's system of forced, secret adoption today strongly condemned comments made by Michelle Mulherin FG TD, during the Dáil debate on an abortion bill proposed by Clare Daly TD. 
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‘Unwanted pregnancies caused by fornication’
A Government TD has blamed "fornication" as the single biggest cause of unwanted pregnancies and questioned what damage the sale of condoms has done to society.
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to read

Fornication the 'cause of unwanted pregnancies'
FORNICATION WAS the single greatest cause of unwanted pregnancies in Ireland, Mayo Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin said.

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Abortion debate: Single Mayo TD Michelle Mulherin defends ‘fornication’ remarks
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny's constituency colleague has defended her controversial "fornication" comments during a Dail debate about abortion.
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to read

26th February 2012

My mother went really quiet, then she said: "Yes, I am your mummy, but you had another mummy"
For years, she came up against secrets and bureaucratic lies, but Marita Conlon-McKenna eventually managed to trace the woman who put her up for adoption in the late 1950s
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Click here to read

20th February 2012

Child traffic ring lawyer was jailed in similar case
The lawyer linked to an alleged child trafficking ring in Mexico, which saw 11 Irish couples questioned, was jailed more than 20 years ago on suspicion of the same crime.
Click here to read this article from Conall Ó Fátharta in today's Irish Examiner.

Names of boys burned out of care home released
THE NAMES of Protestant orphan boys burnt out of their Connemara residential care home during the Civil War have been released for the first time. Many of them were believed to have been sent to Australia
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Click here to read 

Law to aid birth parent search
LEGISLATION to help adopted people trace their birth parents will be introduced by the government in tandem with the children's referendum this year, writes Sarah McInerney.

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Click here to read

17th February 2012

Liveline adoption coverage
This week adoption was discussed on RTÉ's Liveline show.  Click here to listen.

Children's group given €1.5m for referendum campaign
TWO PHILANTHROPIC groups have provided €1.5 million to an organisation that is likely to play a major role in campaigning for a Yes vote in the forthcoming children’s referendum.
Legislation to accompany aspects of the referendum relating to adoption will be published in advance of the referendum.

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Click here to read 


14th February 2012

Where did I come from?
Tracing your birth parents can be rewarding, but don’t do it on your own, writes SHEILA WAYMAN in the Irish Times.  
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to read

6th February 2012

US not adopting from Vietnam
The United States has said it will not resume adoptions from Vietnam as the country "does not yet have a fully Hague-compliant process in place".
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Click here to read

The case that convulsed a nation
ON FEBRUARY 12TH, 1992, a short report appeared on the front of The Irish Times: “State Attempts to Stop Girl’s Abortion.” The careful 235 words were almost lost in the surrounding headlines about Albert Reynolds’ dramatic first day as taoiseach, when he sacked eight of 12 serving ministers.
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1st February 2012

Adopt change
The discovery of a Mexican child trafficking ring brought questions about inter-country adoption to the fore. However, this should have happened long ago, writes Conall Ó Fátharta

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Click here to read

An issue that cannot be easily solved
Despite laws governing inter-country adoptions, questions still remain and need constant monitoring.
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Click here to read
this article by Dr. Aisling Parkes and Dr. Simone  McCaughren

Mexican adoptions not affected
THERE IS as yet no evidence that uncompleted adoptions from Mexico will be affected by recent events in the country in which 11 Irish couples have been questioned in connection with illegal adoptions, according to the chairman of the Adoption Authority.
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Plan to ban anonymous donors 'will limit supply'
PLANS TO ban the use of anonymous sperm or egg donations in Ireland will lead to fewer donors and an increase in the cost of assisted human reproduction, a conference heard at the weekend.
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Fitzgerald challenged on adoptions
A CLAIM by the Minister for Children that there is no evidence that previous adoptions in Mexico by Irish couples are unsafe has been challenged in the Dáil.
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2010 Act saves adoptive child and couple from pitfalls
ANALYSIS: THE QUESTIONING of 11 Irish couples in connection with alleged illegal adoptions in Mexico has highlighted once again the pitfalls to be found in the world of intercountry adoptions.
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Eleventh child is seized in adoption probe
An eleventh child has been seized in Mexico as part of an investigation into a child trafficking ring which sought to sell babies to 11 Irish couples.
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Mexico adoptions: Irish couples 'thought process was legal'
The Irish couples ensnared in an apparent illegal adoption ring in western Mexico thought they were involved in a legal process and are devastated by allegations organisers were trafficking in children, the families said.
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Baby girl abducted in illegal Mexican adoption ring
ZAPOPAN, Mexico (AP) — Karla Zapeda was approached by a woman asking to use the 15-year-old's baby girl in a two-week photo shoot for $755 ($10,000 pesos), a small fortune for a teen mother who earns $180 a month at a sandwich stand.
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Click here to read

25th January 2012

No adoptions from abroad since new law was passed
None of the almost 200 couples approved to adopt under the new Adoption Act have managed to bring a child back to Ireland.  Under the act, which came into force in Nov 2010, Irish people can only adopt from countries that have ratified the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption or with which Ireland has a bilateral agreement.
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Uruguay approves $513,000 settlement for disappearance, illegal adoption during dictatorship
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Uruguay’s president has approved a $513,000 payment to Macarena Gelman, who was illegally adopted during the dictatorship after her mother was tortured and disappeared.
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Click here to read

24th January 2012

Prime Time on Mexican adoptions
Prime Time will be covering the issue of Mexican adoptions tonight.  Claire McGettrick from Adoption Rights Alliance was interviewed for the programme today.  Tune in to RTÉ One at 9.30pm tonight.  

Mexican baby-trafficking ring operated for 20 years
An alleged baby-trafficking ring in Mexico, which sought to sell babies to 11 Irish couples, has been in operation for more than 20 years, authorities have claimed.
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Couples devastated by adoption scam
Eleven Irish couples caught up in an alleged adoption scam in Mexico have been left devastated by the affair, they said tonight.
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Irish couples caught up in illegal adoption operation in Mexico
THE BOARD of the Adoption Authority of Ireland is to meet today to discuss the issue of Irish couples who have been caught up in an adoption scam in Mexico.
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Click here to read

23rd January 2012

Fitzgerald performs U-turn on adoption tracing rights
Retrospective information and tracing rights are to be offered in the upcoming Adoption Bill, in a significant U-turn by Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald.  The move has been broadly welcomed by groups representing adopted people, who had feared that tracing and information rights were only to be offered in relation to future adoptions.
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Click here to read

Hospital sorry for forced adoptions
THE Royal Women's Hospital has admitted that single women were treated differently from married mothers until the mid-1970s and apologised for the pain and suffering that the practice caused.
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Mexico authorities unravel child trafficking ring
ZAPOPAN, Mexico (AP) — Life seemed to give Karla Zepeda a break when a woman came to her dusty neighborhood of cinderblock homes and dirt roads looking for babies to photograph in an anti-abortion ad campaign.
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21st January 2012

Questioning of couples in adoption case ‘disturbing’
CHILDREN’S Minister Frances Fitzgerald has said the questioning of 11 Irish couples in relation to an adoption racket in Mexico is a "very disturbing situation".
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Click here to read

Adoption red-tape is a cruel process but a necessary one
Anyone who complains about the bureaucracy which can be encountered when engaging with the State -- be it applying for the dole, or headage payments for livestock -- should attempt to adopt a child from abroad to get matters in perspective.
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Click here to read

Mexico baby trafficking dates back over 20 years
GUADALAJARA, Mexico — A baby-trafficking ring aiming to pass infants on for adoption had operated for more than 20 years in Mexico and sent children to Italy as well as Ireland, according to a Mexican official.
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20th January 2012

Couples held in Mexico facing ban on adoptions
THE Irish couples being questioned by police in Mexico who are investigating alleged child trafficking now risk being banned from adopting in the future.
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Click here to read

Children in adoption scam show signs of sexual abuse
FOUR of the 10 children rescued during an alleged adoption scam to sell babies to Irish couples have shown signs of sexual abuse.
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Click here to read

Authority satisfied registered Mexican adoptions safe
THE Adoption Authority (AAI) said it is satisfied all registered adoptions here from Mexico are "safe and secure" following more arrests in connection with an alleged trafficking ring planning to sell babies to Irish couples.
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Click here to read

Mexico prosecutor says 4 children seized in child-trafficking ring show signs of sexual abuse
GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Four of the 10 children seized in western Mexico as part of a child-trafficking investigation involving Irish couples show signs of sexual abuse, a Mexican official said Wednesday.
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Click here to read

16th January 2012

Irish couples caught up in Mexico adoption scam
THE Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed it is in contact with a number of Irish couples caught up in an alleged adoption scam in Mexico.
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Click here to read

Couples quizzed in adoption scam
THE Department of Foreign Affairs has refused to say if it issued adoption visas to 11 Irish couples caught up in a Mexican "babies for sale" scam.
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Warning over illegal private adoptions from Mexico
THE CHAIRMAN of the Adoption Authority of Ireland has warned prospective adoptive parents not to enter into any private arrangements in Mexico.  Geoffrey Shannon said while some individual states within Mexico allow private adoption, none sanction private inter-country adoption.
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Click here to read

Irish couples quizzed over Mexican 'adoption' scam
The Republic's department of foreign affairs has refused to say if it issued adoption visas to 11 Irish couples caught up in a Mexican "babies for sale" scam.
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Click here to read

15th January 2012

ELEVEN Irish families quizzed in Mexico over adoption ‘racket’
Seven Mexican babies have been seized from Irish couples after ­police in Guadalajara smashed an international child-­smuggling ring.
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Irish couples to be quizzed over illegal adoptions
ELEVEN Irish couples are said to have been caught up in an investigation into illegal child adoptions in Mexico.  The Irish couples were reportedly due to be interviewed by state prosecutors over the weekend as police investigated a suspected child adoption ring in Guadalajara.
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Click here to read

10th January 2012

RIP Mary Raftery

RTÉ News:  The death has taken place of journalist Mary Raftery following an illness.  Click here for further details

Visit the Justice for Magdalenes website

 

2nd January 2012

Numbers of adopted children in care unknown
THE number of adopted children in care is not known by the HSE, the Department of Health or the Department of Children, despite it being raised as a concern by social workers as far back as 2005.
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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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