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Giving up a child for adoption 

Irish Times Letters, Mon, Apr 12, 2010

Madam, – I recently found out that I have a sister who my mother gave up for adoption in the early 1970s in Ireland. The story is heartbreaking, but, overall this has been a very positive experience for me.


Having researched the subject of adoption in Ireland during the past decades, I felt a strong need to raise awareness and ultimately to remember each and every mother who entered a mother and baby home throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s in Ireland.


It is devastating to learn of the number of women who, due to their unmarried status, had no choice other than to endure the unpleasant environment of these homes for the duration of their pregnancy, give birth to their child (for adoption) and then return to society and carry on as if nothing had happened without anyone giving a thought for their emotional wellbeing.


This letter is dedicated to my mother, as well as the thousands of other women who, due to their circumstances, very sadly had to go into mother and baby homes to have their babies alone and in secret. The majority of these women still live every day with the burden, the painful memories and the secret of having given up their child many years ago.


Often they have not been reunited with their child, and can only wonder about their well-being and hope that they have led or are leading a prosperous life. Please take a moment to remember these incredibly brave women and their children. – Yours, etc,



Garratt Lane,



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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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