...regaining identities, histories and rights for adopted people...  




The mission of Adoption Rights Alliance is to advocate equal human and civil rights for those affected by Ireland's closed secret adoption system.


31st August 2014

Philomena Project Charity Single
The wonderful Declan Zapala has composed a beautiful piece of music in honour of his mother, which he has called 'Philomena' in honour of Philomena Lee. 
Click here to read

16th July 2014

Press Release: Adoption Rights Alliance welcomes appointment of Judge Murphy, but cites grave concerns about Inter-Departmental report
Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA), which advocates for equal rights for those affected by Ireland’s closed, secret, forced adoption system, welcomes the appointment of Judge Yvonne Murphy as Chairperson of the Commission of Investigation into matters related to mother and baby homes, but has expressed grave concerns about the report of the Inter-Departmental Group. 
Click here to read

8th July 2014

FORSAKEN is an installation by Mannix Flynn and Maedhbh Mc Mahon which has an adoption/Magdalene theme. It opens on July 16th, Wednesday at 6pm at Dollard House, Wellington Quay, Dublin (Beside the Clarence Hotel). The work will be opened by Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan.

30th June 2014

Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) and Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR) Make Joint Submission to Terms of Reference for Commission of Inquiry into Mother and Baby Homes
Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) and Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR) today submitted a comprehensive briefing to inform the terms of reference for the Commission of Inquiry into Mother and Baby Homes. ARA and JFMR, who, along with representatives of Irish First Mothers and historian Sean Lucey, met with Minister Flanagan on Wednesday, 25 June 2014, and suggested that the Commission of Investigation should focus on the issue of children born out of wedlock in Ireland since 1922 rather than institutions per se. Communicated in that meeting and in the joint submission is the understanding that this issue gives rise to six distinct fields of inquiry:

  1. Infant mortality rates;
  2. Adoption practices;
  3. Vaccine trials and medical experimentation;
  4. Forced labour and incarceration of unmarried girls and women who gave birth to babies or were seen to be ‘at risk’ of becoming mothers;
  5. Conditions in the institutions, including neglect, denial of adequate medical care and cruel punishment of unmarried mothers and their infants and children; and
  6. Burials of unmarried mothers and their children who remained in recarceral institutions.

Click here to read more

Click here to read the submission

24th January 2014

Philomena Lee to visit Ireland to launch The Philomena Project
Philomena Lee will be in Dublin this Friday, 24th January, to launch The Philomena Project in association with the Adoption Rights Alliance, which aims to effect legislative change by calling on the Irish state to grant access to adoption records for both in-country and Irish-US adopted people and their families. There are over 60,000 “adoption” files held by the HSE, private adoption agencies and church representatives all of which are the sole source of people’s identities. Sixty years after the introduction of legal but essentially forced adoption, The Philomena Project is calling on the Irish government to lead the way and enact legislation to allow the release of these 60,000 plus files to the people whose identities these contain. 
Click here to read

11th November 2013

State played important role in denying the adopted a sense of their origin
Tracing legislation, to enable adopted individuals to identify their biological parents, has recently become a subject of debate, with TD Clare Daly, in particular, pressing Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald on the matter. In response to Daly’s questions in March last year, Fitzgerald agreed reform was very important and voiced her support for “the strongest possible legislation to deal with this issue” but warned there were constitutional obstacles.
Click here to read

30th October 2013

When mum met my mother
Jenny Hudson was adopted as a baby. At 38, she met her biological mother, and they got on very well. Then she had an idea.
Click here to read

21st October 2013

Adoption body got €200k HSE grant in spite of reporting errors
The HSE gave an adoption agency €200,000 this year despite being told in a report that the agency had misreported HSE grant money in financial statements between 2007 and 2010.
Click here to read

'The Politics of Philomena' by Mannix Flynn
The most startling thing to emerge from the premiere last night of Philomena was the lack of any questioning around accountability for the theft of a child, in this instance Anthony Lee from his mother Philomena, who was incarcerated in Sean Ross Abbey for 4 yrs in the 1950s.
Click here to read

Film tells true story of a forced adoption

There are lots of Philomena Lees in Ireland, writes Conall Ӡ Fᴨarta
As is so often the case with Irish scandals, it takes Hollywood to bring them into to the public consciousness.
It certainly was the case with The Magdalene Sisters in 2002, and the same may happen with the release of Philomena, the story of Philomena Lee’s search for the son she was forced to put up for adoption in 1952 when she was aged 19.
Click here to read

16th October 2013

Kenny ‘ill-informed’ on rights of adopted, say advocates

Conall ӠFᴨarta, Irish Examiner, October 16, 2013

Adopted people have hit out at “ill-informed” comments by Taoiseach Enda Kenny about the right of adopted people and natural parents to trace one another.
Click here to read

9th October 2013

Adoption files still not available two years after Government promise

A woman who spent 30 years trying to trace her adopted daughter could have found her much sooner if available records had been made accessible, the Dᩬ has been told. Independent TD Clare Daly said there were thousands of women in a similar situation.
Click here to read

6th September 2013

Minister's adoption remarks 'worrying'
Remarks by Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald that the Adoption Act is “restrictive” and may be re-examined to allow Irish couples to adopt more easily from a wider range of countries, have been labelled as “worrying”.

Susan Lohan of the Adoption Rights Alliance said any move to re-examine the legislation would be retrograde. “When countries ratify Hague, the numbers available for adoption often fall dramatically. Is this about providing loving homes for children that need them or providing children for couples that want them.”
Click here to read

Having it both ways on adoption policy
The statement by Frances Fitzgerald, the children’s minister, that she is “going to consider” possible changes to the 2010 Adoption Act to make it easier for Irish couples to adopt from a wider range of countries is more than worrying.

It flies in the face of everything we know — or should have learned — about ensuring that intercountry adoptions take place in accordance with the rights and best interests of the children concerned.
Click here to read Nigel Cantwell's analysis piece

2nd September 2013

Pope 'should watch Philomena's adoption story'
THE director of a film depicting the true story of an Irish woman who searched for five decades to find her son who was sold into adoption in the 1950s has said he hopes the Pope will watch the film.
Click here to read

Frears eager for pope to see his latest film
VENICE, Italy—Director Stephen Frears really wants Pope Francis to see his latest film, ''Philomena," the true story of a shamed Irish woman forced by nuns to give her son up for adoption in the 1950s. He wants it so much, he said so three times during a news conference on Saturday.
Click here to read

Dench: Philomena needs to be told
Dame Judi Dench has revealed that she agreed to star in Stephen Frears' Philomena, because it was a story that "had to be told".
Click here to read

23rd July 2013

No returning to 'normal' life for women after giving up babies
After eight years living in the United States, I thought I had become inured to the absurdity of American reality television. Until last week, while on a whim, I flicked on the remote and tuned into Oxygen Channel's controversial reality show, 'I'm Having Their Baby'.

Click here to read

Adoption agency to withdraw tracing service
A religious-run adoption agency, which facilitated illegal adoptions and exported more than 500 “illegitimate” children, is withdrawing its tracing and information service.

Click here to read

20th May 2013

Adoption group may seek UN assistance in extending rights
The Adoption Rights Alliance is considering going to the United Nations in order to force the State to grant adopted people the same rights as every other Irish citizen.

Click here to read

24th March 2013

Calls for probe into forced adoptions

Groups representing birth mothers and adopted people have called for an investigation into the scale of forced and illegal adoptions in Ireland.

It comes following a national apology by Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister, to thousands of unmarried mothers who were forced by government policies to give up their children for adoption over several decades. ~
Click here to read

SF queries issue of falsified adoption records

Concerns about falsified adoption records in Irish State institutions were raised in the Dᩬ, following the apology by the Australia n prime minister to single mothers forced to give up their children for adoption.
Click here to read

Australia’s Gillard makes historic apology for forced adoptions
Australia n prime minister Julia Gillard delivered a historic national apology in parliament to the thousands of unwed mothers who were forced by government policies to give up their babies for adoption over several decades.
Click here to read

Julia Gillard's adoption apology comes after an abyss of trauma
Gillard shines when touched by emotion, and her standing ovation from mothers wronged by the state was well deserved
Hundreds of mothers and their families gathered yesterday to hear a historic national apology from Australia's prime minister Julia Gillard. Forced to give up their babies, these women were among the thousands of young mothers who endured a cruel and often illegal approach by governments, churches, hospitals and charities towards pregnancy out of wedlock in Australia from the 1950s to the 1970s, whereby unmarried mothers were coerced or deceived into giving up their babies to adoption by married couples.
Click here to read

Julia Gillard apologises to Australian mothers for forced adoptions
Thousands of unwed women were made to give up their children so that they could be adopted by married couples

Australian prime minister Julia Gillard delivered a historic national apology in parliament on Thursday to the thousands of unwed mothers who were forced by government policies to give up their babies for adoption over several decades.
Click here to read



“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

Refused your birth certificate by the Adoption Authority?  Click here to learn how to locate it for yourself.

Magdalene Oral History Project concludes...

Click here to visit the Oral History Project website






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