authorities to audit tracing records
Conall O Fátharta
Examiner, Friday, June 11, 2010
Adoption Board has confirmed it is to carry out an audit of its
information and tracing service records to identify any cases involving
audit comes following the Irish Examiner’s investigation into the case
of Tressa Reeves, whose son was illegally adopted and falsely registered
as the natural child of the adoptive parents. This was facilitated by St
Patrick’s Guild adoption agency, which remains fully accredited by the
Adoption Board, despite it being aware of the case since 2001.
is understood to be the first such audit of any of the Adoption Board
records despite repeated calls from adoption groups for more than a
the Adoption Rights Alliance and Adoption Loss – The Natural Parents
Network of Ireland have consistently raised concerns about the number of
illegal adoptions that have taken place since adoption was made legal
here in 1952 and have called for an audit of all of the Adoption
Board’s files to ascertain the extent of such illegal practices.
late last month, chairman of the Adoption Board, Geoffrey Shannon, gave
a personal commitment that any cases where irregular or illegal
practices occurred would be brought to the attention of the Adoption
Board and the gardaí if necessary.
a statement issued to the Irish Examiner, chief executive of the
Adoption Board, John Collins, confirmed an audit of its information and
tracing records would take place.
clarity, these are illegal registration matters. In the absence of an
application to the Board no order would have been made by the Board and
therefore no adoption file would exist. Such cases would come to our
attention through public queries to our Information and Tracing Service.
the board has decided to carry out an audit of its information and
tracing records going back to see if it can identify any further
potential cases," he said.
Collins told the Irish Examiner in April the Adoption Board was aware of
only one case where a child was placed with an adoptive couple without a
formal adoption order having being made and where the birth was falsely
Lohan of the Adoption Rights Alliance said the group were aware of
numerous cases of illegal adoptions and called on people with concerns
about how their adoption was carried out to come forward.
encourage anybody who needs assistance in bringing an illegal adoption
or an illegal registration to the attention of the Adoption Board to
contact us immediately, even if those people have dealt with the
Adoption Board previously," she said.
of Adoption Loss – The Natural Parents Network of Ireland, Bernie
Harold, described Mr Collins’ response as "disingenuous in the
extreme" and called for an independent review of all files held by
the Adoption Board, adoption agencies and the HSE.
is not sufficient to confine this laughably described ‘audit’ to the
illegalities which have emerged through self-reported cases. Most
victims of illegal adoption and false birth registration, whether the
mother or the child, have no knowledge of what happened. It usually
emerges very late in the day after the ‘adoptive’ parents have
passed away. Finally, it is unacceptable that this will effectively be
an internal trawl through a tiny proportion of their records by the
Adoption Board’s own staff," she said.
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