Surge in calls to adoption helplines
Conall O Fátharta
Examiner, Wednesday, April 21, 2010
support groups have received a surge of calls to their helplines
following the Irish Examiner’s special investigation into the issue of
part of the investigation we revealed the heartbreaking story of Tressa
Reeves and her 50-year search for an illegally adopted son.
of Adoption Loss – The Natural Parents Network of Ireland, Bernie
Harold, said the group’s helpline had been "extra busy"
since the publication of the investigation.
calls have been from women who were very reluctant to go back to the
adoption agency through which their child was adopted because of the
traumatic memories it evokes.
were glad to hear that they don’t have to – they can go to any
agency of their choice. Those women were relieved to be able to talk
about the loss of their child with someone else who’d been through the
Harold also revealed how other calls were from adopted and fostered
people who weren’t sure how to start their search.
Adoption Rights Alliance, a group representing adopted people, also
reported its website traffic and calls to its helpline had increased up
to five times the dailyaverage following the publication of Tressa’s
on the increase in calls, Susan Lohan of the Adoption Rights Alliance,
said Tressa’s case was similar to others the group had encountered.
the truth about their origins is inevitably revealed, they discover that
they have little or no chance of tracing their natural mothers as their
birth certificates were falsified and their real names were never
recorded," she said.
Lohan criticised the new Adoption Bill and once again called on Minister
for Children Barry Andrews to implement legislation that will allow for
tracing and information rights.
century legislation is urgently required because there is nothing to
stop illegal adoptions from happening today. Barry Andrews’ proposed
Adoption Bill makes no changes to the core 1952 Act on domestic
adoption. It doesn’t allow for adopted people to know they are
adopted, just like Tressa’s son, and persists in a closed, secretive
system damaging to all involved," she said.
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