No timescale for audit
results of adoption body
By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner, Friday,
July 15, 2011
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
The audit was announced
in June of last year 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 without her
consent. This was facilitated by St Patrick’s Guild adoption agency in
Numerous cases of illegality have come to the attention of this
newspaper in the interim and adoption groups believe the actual number
could run into thousands.
It is understood to be the first such audit of any of the AAI’s
records despite calls from adoption groups, for more than a decade, for
an audit of all of its files as well as those of adoption agencies and
those files now in the possession of the HSE.
However, more than a year after its commencement, the Adoption Authority
confirmed that only a "preliminary examination" of its records
had been undertaken. It further pointed out that as the cases involved
illegal registration matters, no adoption order would have been made so
it could only make an assessment as to the absence of records for people
who believe they were illegally adopted.
It declined to offer any timescale as to when the audit would be
completed or if its results would be made public.
Furthermore, the case of Tressa Reeves remains unresolved, despite the
Authority being aware of the full facts and the involvement of St
Patrick’s Guild in the illegal adoption of Ms Reeves’ son since
Commenting on the length of time the audit was taking, Susan Lohan of
the Adoption Rights Alliance said it showed the Adoption Authority was
"incapable or unwilling" to investigate potentially criminal
issues arising from adoptions carried out here in the past.
"The Adoption Authority brings soft touch regulation to a new low.
They are aware of thousands of files in religious adoption agencies for
which there is no corresponding adoption order. Has it never occurred to
them to inspect those files nor investigate where those children ended
up and with whom," she said.
Chairwoman of Adoption Loss — The Natural Parents Network of Ireland,
Bernie Harold called on the AAI to inform the public of the results of
"We accept that the huge number of illegal adoptions in Ireland is
not the complete responsibility of the AAI. Successive governments are
at fault in continuing to allow adoption records to be ‘owned’ by
the private adoption agencies throughout the State."
"However, the Adoption Board, forerunner to the AAI, always had the
legal right to search and copy all records held by such adoption
agencies, but they never bothered to do so. We would like them to tell
us why they neglected to do this in over fifty years," she said.
This appeared in the
printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, July 15, 2011
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