Most adopted people here face
monumental brick wall
Irish Independent Letters, 16th March 2011
Mary Kenny's opinion piece (Irish Independent, March
14) portrays only one side of Ireland's closed secret adoption system.
We agree with Ms Kenny that Joan Burton is an
inspirational person, and are proud to see an adopted person in Cabinet.
However, we must vehemently disagree that her case is 'a shining example
of good practice' in adoption.
The religious-run adoption society St Patrick's
Guild could not help in searching for Joan Burton's natural family. Ten
years later, Ms Burton received help from a voluntary organisation (the
forerunner to Adoption Rights Alliance) and traced her natural family.
In the time that had elapsed, however, her natural mother had died.
St Patrick's Guild secretly exported almost 600
babies to America (in fact, Joan Burton was originally destined for such
an adoption) and it featured in RTE's 'Prime Time' in May 2010 because
of its involvement in an illegal adoption.
It is also known that in the early days of this
secret export scheme, architected by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid
with a mandate for secrecy, that little to no vetting of prospective
adoptive parents was done well into the late 1950s.
Ms Kenny's article does a great disservice to the
true history of adoption, to the monumental brick walls faced by most
adopted adults (including Joan Burton) and to adopted people themselves.
Claire McGettrick, Mari Steed and Susan Lohan
Adoption Rights Alliance,
Malahide, Co Dublin
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