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By Conall Ó Fátharta,
Irish Examiner, Wednesday, March 30, 2011
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.
St Patrick’s Guild was
last month accredited to assist adopted people and natural parents
through tracing, counselling and mediating.
This is despite the fact that St Patrick’s Guild facilitated the
illegal adoption and false birth registration of the son of Tressa
Reeves — a case exposed by the Irish Examiner last year.
The agency allowed a couple to take the child without a formal adoption
order being made. The couple then falsely registered the child as their
In letters to Ms Reeves, the agency admitted it had placed at least one
other child in the same way.
Between 1947 and 1967, St Patrick’s Guild also arranged for the export
of 572 "illegitimate" children to the US for adoption.
The agency dealt with more than 10,000 adoptions here and holds more
than 13,000 files on children who were fostered or adopted.
Susan Lohan of the Adoption Rights Alliance said she was
"astounded" St Patrick’s Guild had been re-accredited given
the volume of complaints levelled at it over a period of decades.
"In our experience, it is one of the most unhelpful adoption
agencies to deal with, whether the adoption was illegal or not… We
sincerely hope that now St Patrick’s Guild is accredited, they will be
submitted to rigorous inspection by the new Adoption Authority."
In a statement, the Adoption Authority said the decision to accredit St
Patrick’s Guild came after "a detailed examination of the
body’s current policies, procedures and practices in terms of
compliance with the 2010 Act and the Adoption Act 2010 (Accredited
Bodies) Regulations 2010".
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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
Alex Haley, Author of Roots