being the regulatory body for adoptions, the Adoption Authority of
Ireland (AAI) has repeatedly refused to deal with the issue of illegal
adoptions, stating that because no adoption order existed, no adoption
took place and it therefore has no jurisdiction, maintaining this
position even when an adoption agency registered by them was proven to
have arranged the illegal adoption.
Rights Alliance believes that a statutory inquiry is the only way in
which the full extent of these practices can be discovered and
ultimately understood in order to prevent them from happening again, not
to mention providing answers to those affected by illegal adoptions.
Most importantly, an inquiry would assist adopted people whose
adoptions were illegal in tracing their
natural parents or vice versa.
This factor is crucial as agencies such as St. Patrick’s Guild
refuse to provide assistance to people in this position.
regard to the illegal adoption of Tressa Reeves’s son Andre Donnelly
(exposed by the Irish Examiner in April 2010 and further covered in RTÉ’s
Prime Time in May 2010) of which the AAI were made aware a decade ago,
no one at the AAI has seen fit to resolve the matter for Ms. Reeves, a
dignified and frail woman now in her 70’s.
This utter lack of compassion and a staggering inability to see
difficult cases through to conclusion has no place in an organisation
with a quasi-judicial status and reaffirms our lack of confidence in the
Chairperson Geoffrey Shannon is the only person within the Authority to
have taken a different stance on this, when he gave a personal
commitment to deal with the issue of illegal adoptions during an
interview with RTÉ’s Prime Time in May 2010.
Mr. Shannon repeated this commitment at the official launch of
the AAI on November 1st, 2010.
However, later in November 2010, Registrar of the AAI, Kiernan
Gildea issued a Statement that the Authority would not be investigating
illegal adoptions, but it is not clear whether or not this Statement had
the imprimatur of the chairman or the Board.
believe as a minimum strategy the AAI should compile and maintain a
register of illegal adoptions without delay.
It should also establish an “Illegal
adoptions Advisory group” (to include adopted people and natural
parents). All files should
be located and seized and a comprehensive tracing database should be
Rights Alliance Correspondence with the Adoption Board
Concerning Illegal Adoptions
31st May 2010 Adoption Rights Alliance wrote to Geoffrey Shannon and the
Adoption Board regarding the issue of illegal adoptions, specifically
referring to one particular case which the Board (previously under the
chairmanship of Jim O'Sullivan) has ignored for five years (despite being alerted by us
in 2005). To date, no response or acknowledgement
has been received.
here for details
Resources for those
Not sure if you were illegally adopted? Click
here for a definition
of illegal adoptions
Click the links for sample letters to the Adoption Authority if you were
letter for people adopted illegally
letter for natural parents of people adopted illegally
DO NOT send
original documents to the Adoption Authority -send photocopies only
here for a website dedicated to and run by
people illegally adopted