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Press Release 7th October 2011
Adoption Rights Alliance strongly condemns use of deceased infants in anatomical experiments

Adoption Rights Alliance, a group advocating for equal human and civil rights for those affected by Ireland's closed secret adoption system, has strongly condemned the use of the bodies of deceased infants in anatomical experiments, as well as the use of children in Mother and Baby Homes in vaccine trials, as reported in RTÉ’s Prime Time programme on Thursday 6th October.  The group says its helpline has been inundated with calls since the programme aired, with 50 calls alone coming in within the first half hour of the programme ending.

The medical practices exposed in the Prime Time programme demonstrated an utter contempt for children born outside of marriage, and for their mothers who were denied an opportunity to bury their children with dignity.  These latest revelations reinforce our assertion that children who were born outside of marriage were viewed as “nobody’s children”, disposable and therefore reduced to the status of mere commodities to be used by church and state as they saw fit. 

Questions must now be asked as to why previous inquiries, investigations and audits into organ retention practices failed to reveal the experimental use of deceased infants originally destined for adoption.  In searching for the truth on medical experimentation and illegal vaccine trials, the whole truth of Ireland’s murky adoption industry must be sought, because if we do not fully own and acknowledge all of our nation’s history, there is little to prevent such abominations from happening again. Adoption Rights Alliance is calling on the Minister for Health and the Minister for Children to establish a statutory inquiry into these practices.

The Prime Time programme also highlighted the extreme difficulties experienced by adopted people in accessing their records, including their medical information.  In August 2011 Adoption Rights Alliance submitted legislative proposals to Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald calling for adoption information legislation, as well as recommendations for inquiries into illegal adoption practices and the treatment of women and girls in Mother and Baby Homes.  The group is reiterating its call on Minister Fitzgerald to introduce adoption information legislation to open adoption records without delay.  Ministerial expressions of regret are meaningless to adopted people without parallel remedial action to open adoption records immediately.

The Ryan, Murphy, Cloyne and Ferns reports were a damning indictment of the systemic abuse of children in church and state care and the systemic cover up of crimes committed by church/state institutions.  It has been clear to those of us working in the area of adoption rights for more than a decade that church and state inhumanity also extended to women and girls in crisis pregnancy and their children, whose only crime was to have been born out of marriage.  The natural mothers seeking advice from Adoption Rights Alliance tell us that women and girls who resided at Mother and Baby Homes were routinely treated in a sub-human fashion, including being denied adequate medical care or pain relief while giving birth and forced into unpaid arduous labour. Other testimonies from our service users, both adopted people and natural parents, include forced adoptions, illegal adoptions, false birth registrations, non-registration of births, as well as disturbing accounts regarding the use of babies in vaccine trials.  The news of the use of such children in anatomical experiments is just the latest - though incredibly disturbing - revelation.


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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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