Tag Archives: Adoption

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Ms Zappone said she had listened to the concerns of adopted people and the changes, in her view, balance the right to privacy with the right to identity.

The new law, which will move to the committee stage in the Seanad today, has been delayed because of concerns about the privacy of natural or birth parents in cases where an adopted person is looking for information.

It is now proposed that the child and family agency Tusla would contact birth parents in relation to any request for information and, if they object to its release, the Adoption Authority of Ireland would make a decision.

Zappone – Adoption law giving access to records ‘a step forward’ (RTÉ)

Mairead Enright writes:

It is not at all clear how adopted people’s rights will be safeguarded by the above process, especially given Tusla’s poor history

This proposal is completely out of step with European norms. It is also a disproportionate measure which assumes adopted people are a “threat” to their natural parents’ wellbeing.

Once the new legislation is passed, the Attorney General is proposing that people adopted in future should have automatic access to their full file once they reach adulthood.

So these are discriminatory provisions affecting people adopted in the era of the laundries and the Mother and Baby Homes.

Together with proposals under the Retention of Records Bill 2019, which will seal testimonies of records of child abuse for 75 years, this legislation shows that the state is not willing to face up to the past.

If anything, this imposition of state control reinscribes the shaming and silencing mechanisms used against natural mothers under Ireland’s regime of forced (and often illegal) adoption.

People must have access, at a minimum, to their unredacted early life records *and* to their birth certs (which are already public records).

Natural mothers should also be able to access their state records.

Amendments to the Bill could also be used to establish meaningful information, matching and tracing services and an independent archive of relevant records.

There is a lot more wrong with the Bill, but the basic assumption that this category of adopted people should be quarantined in this way is highly objectionable and should be resisted.

Oh and before the AG says “but the Constitution”, there is no absolute constitutional right to anonymity. The right to privacy of natural mothers must be balanced against the right to identity.

And anyway framing this as “mothers vs adopted people” isn’t the point. Adults are capable of navigating this information regime, and the state should assist them to do so, not continue to frustrate them.

Meanwhile…

Claire McGettrick tweetz:

A tiny sample of the pages which Tusla redacted in my adoption file before sending to me. I’m happily reunited with my mother for over 25 years, so who are they trying to ‘protect’ here? Adopted people are being left behind in so-called modern Ireland #EndSecrecyNow #Stand4Truth

Anyone?

The Four Courts in Dublin

This morning.

At the High Court before Judge Richard Humphries.

A single mother, who was the foster carer for a baby born prematurely with severe health difficulties for more than a year, will challenge the actions of Tusla in the hope that what she claims happened to her won’t happen to anyone else.

In March of last year, the mum-of-two, who has fostered more than a dozen children in the past, responded to a call-out from Tusla for a volunteer to sit with the baby in a hospital, and cuddle it, as, Tusla said, the then three-month-old baby hadn’t had any significant human contact since it was born.

As time went on, the mother began fostering the baby and underwent specialised training to learn how to feed and care for it.

She sought to adopt the baby but she was told it was the birth mother’s wish that the child be adopted by a married couple. However, Tusla organised for her to have a legal consultation on the matter.

In April of this year, while the child with severe special needs was recovering in hospital following surgery, the mother claims it was abruptly removed from the hospital and given to a couple in the process of adopting the child.

The adoption process in regards to the child is not yet complete but it’s expected to be finalised in several months.

However, by seeking a judicial review of how Tusla handled the case, the mother wants to stop the adoption process which Tusla has started with the couple and she’s also seeking an order compelling Tusla to consider her application to adopt the child.

She claims Tusla didn’t follow procedure, didn’t provide for a proper transitioning period and didn’t give her adequate notice of what was going to happen.

She also claims the best interests of the child were not served in how Tusla handled the case.

An internal Tulsa investigation into the matter is also already under way.

Related: Single mum takes Tusla to court after agency takes away foster baby (Mark Tighe, The Sunday Times)

Foster mother loses custody of child because birth mother wants kid to go to “a couple” (Irish Mirror, April 28, 2018)

UPDATE: 

The mother has been granted a judicial review and will come back before the High Court on October 16.

I’ve just heard Pope Francis’s comments during his papal Mass that those who told mothers it was a mortal sin to search for their children and vice versa were wrong.

He said it is the fourth commandment. I looked it up: honour thy father and thy mother.

I’m adopted. Might my mother have searched for me if this society, in fear of the Roman Catholic church, had not shamed her into emigration like so many?

I made a freedom of information request to Tusla. I was shocked to receive 58 pages mostly censored with black ink, many were blank with a large black X covering the whole page and the word “redacted” in the centre.

Your right to identity is a human right; Article 8 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) says: “1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognised by law without unlawful interference.

“2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.”

During a Dáil debate on illegal registrations by St Patrick’s Guild adoption society, which dealt with my adoption, Joan Burton TD said “adopted people are still the only people who do not have fundamental human rights in this country . . . there are many people buried in the Irish systems of administration and politics who think the sky will fall in if these rights are realised, but we have provided referendums on gay marriage, reproductive rights and divorce. This is the only issue still outstanding.”

Will the State listen to Pope Francis?

Joan Reidy,
Malahide,
Co Dublin.

Adoption and right to information (The Irish Times letters page)

Pic: RTE

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar have made emotional responses to the latest adoption scandal.

This evening.

The Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors (CMABS) are “united in rejecting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s assertion that it is too early to consider redress or free DNA tests” for the victims of the latest adoption related scandal.

Paul Redmond of CMABS writes:

Once again, the Government’s instant response to survivors and victims is to fob them off and began the endless series of excuses, stalling, scoping exercises and sub committees, while illegally adopted people and their natural mothers continue to die by the hundreds.

CMABS notes for the record that despite extensive lobbying by campaigners, Minister Zappone has already rejected including illegally adopted people in the current Inquiry into Mother and Baby homes and related matters.

Illegally adopted people are the victims of crime and as such, have a right to ‘legal remedy’ under domestic and international law. Minister Zappone has denied illegal adoptees and their natural mothers this most basic human and civil right, and now continues to do so with the support of an uncaring Taoiseach.

Campaigners have long insisted that a national DNA database for adopted people and natural mothers is one of the very few ways progress can be made here but, it has been consistently rejected.

The victims of this latest scandal will almost certainly need long term counseling to assist them in dealing with their new situations but there is no sign of any such facility or funding at present.

There should be modest interim payments to victims – both illegal adoptees and their natural mothers – to give them the time and space to deal with the shock, possibly take time off work and, source local counseling.

Taoiseach Varadkar and Minister Zappone need to urgently address this matter by meeting with representative groups and listening, instead of never ending cheap soundbites in the media followed by years of inaction while survivors die.

A national DNA database with free tests for survivors, an moderate interim redress payment and free counseling are the bare minimum required in this instance.

CMABS notes that there is also a severe deficit of political will in Ireland to deal with the dark history of our country and the living survivors who still bear the scars to this day.

CMABS also notes our calls for a dedicated unit of civil servants, Gardai and social workers with the power to seize records, and pro actively investigate illegal adoptions, has been consistently rejected for many years.

There is still time to prosecute any persons left alive who have been complicit in these inhuman crimes.

Survivors of Mother and Baby homes, forced adoptions, illegal adoptions and a myriad of immoral and criminal activity, are a dying community.

It seems state policy is currently to carry on denying and stalling every inch of the way, while we die, to reduce the final cost.

This is nothing but a shameful reflection on our national politics and a lack of courage and political will by Varadkar and Zappone who have once again shamed themselves personally with their mealy mouthed response to the elderly victims of odious crimes.

Paul is author of the recently-published Adoption Machine: The Dark History of Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes and the Inside Story of How Tuam 800 Became a Global Scandal (Irish Academic Press)

Coalition of Mother And Baby Homes (CMABS)

Adoption registration issue is ‘another dark chapter’ – Varadkar (RTE)

Earlier: Orientated Toward The ‘Better Class of Girl’

Yesterday: ‘People May never Know They Were Adopted’



Top from left: Professor Geoffrey Shannon, Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone, Cormac Quinlan, Director of Transformation and Policy, at a news conference in Government Buildings today about the 126 cases where births were incorrectly registered between 1946 and 1969.

This afternoon.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said that following an initial examination of around 13,500 records from St Patrick’s Guild, Tusla was able to identify the incorrect registrations because, unusually, there was a marker specifying “adopted from birth” on the record.

The minister said further cases may emerge and in some of the 129 cases these people may not know they were adopted.

She said there is no record for 79 of them ever contacting the adoption society, while 31 were in contact but may not be fully aware of the illegal registration.

Tusla will now contact people in the 126 cases according to the minister because “people have a right to know who they are”.

[Incorrect or ‘false’ registrations occur where a child is placed with a couple or individual who was not the parent, but the birth is then registered as if the child had been born to that couple or individual]

126 people identified as having had births incorrectly registered by adoption agency (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

Update:

Via The Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors (CMABS):

The Government admitted today they have just “discovered’ dozens or false birth registrations in the Saint Patrick’s Guild adoption agency files.

Once again, this is just the tip of a very large iceberg of fraud, forgery, baby trafficking, child abduction and criminal activity by rogue Irish adoption agencies who have destroyed tens of thousands of innocent peoples’ lives.

It’s important to note that the Government has known all about this for more than 20 years when Alan Shatter and Francis Fitzgerald as opposition TDs, in the Dáil, made detailed speeches about illegal practices in adoption agencies and named Saint Patrick’s Guild.

Shatter and Fitzgerald both went on to become Ministers for Justice and yet never lifted a finger while in office. Francis Fitzgerald was also a former social worker and Minister for Children with direct responsibility for these matters, and yet did nothing in office despite constant demands to take urgent action.

It is also important to note that the adoption community has been calling for an audit of Saint Patrick’s Guild files, and other agencies, for over 20 years.

Government after government have willfully ignored such calls while adoptees have died by the thousands.

Perhaps the most vital issue here is that illegally adopted people have spent generations going to their Doctors and hospitals and unknowingly giving false – and potentially lethal – family medical histories that do not in fact relate to them. Illegal adoptees carry on this practice for their children and even their grandchildren.

Theresa Hiney who founded the ‘Adopted Illegally Ireland’ group in 2008, has been a voice in the wilderness loudly demanding immediate action for more than 10 years and has been ignored by officialdom who are terrified of what audits of the adoption agencies will reveal.

Clare Daly T. has tackled successive Governments on these issues in the Dáil since 2012 and has been rebuffed and sneered at by a one Minister after another who have refused to take action.

Daly has been proved the only TD who could see the injustice and campaigned with the adoption and survivor communities while everyone else ran and hid.

The survivor and adoptee communities demand IMMEDIATE ACTION to tackle this issue. Theresa Hiney, ‘Adopted Illegally Ireland’, and the ‘Coalition of Mother And Baby homes Survivors’ renew our years old joint call for a dedicated unit made up of civil servants, Gardai and social workers, to actively investigate this matter and inform illegal adoptees of their status.

CMABS notes the Gardai have been sent in. A through, well resourced, and full criminal investigation needs to follow as a matter of urgency.”

CMABS (Facebook)

Thanks Paul Redmond

logoquinnzraytf

Mothers and Fathers Matter is a group set up to say exactly that, ‘mothers and fathers matter’. We support and promote a child’s right to a mothers and fathers wherever practicable. We believe that the Government’s new Children and Family Relationships Bill is unjust because it says mothers and fathers don’t matter to children.

Mothers and Fathers Matter includes among its members David Quinn of the Iona Institute (top), Ray Kinsella (centre), a Pro-Life activist and Professor at the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business UCD and Tom Finegan (bottom), one-time assistant to Senator Ronan Mullen.

The website shares the same IP address as catholicbishops.ie, catholicireland.net, dublindiocese.ie, and gettingmarried.ie .

All because teh gays want to adopt your children.

Previously: Not So Fast, David

Keeping It In The Family

Joseph And The Amazing Off-Colour Dream Quote

cathy and Johanna

Cathy Deasy reunited with her birth mother Johanna Sheehy

 

You my have seen  this week’s BBC Two documentary ‘Ireland’s Lost Babies’ which featured the search by Cathy Deasy to find her biological mother Johanna Sheehy.

At 43, Johanna fell in love with the son of the owner of a farm where she worked. When she became pregnant with Cathy she was sent to the Mother and Child home run by the Sacred Heart sisters in Bessbororough, Co Cork.

Cathy lived for 4 years in an adjoining nursery section, rarely seen by her mother, before she was sent to America.

When they were reunited 40 years later Johanna showed Cathy a locket she constantly wore containing a photo of Cathy as an infant.

She told her daughter: “You’ve found the black sheep of the family.”

 

Cathy Deasy writes:

“It took me 18 years to find my birth mother  who gave birth to me at the age of 43 and it was very sad for the emotional/physical abuse she endured during her lock up for 40 years. And before I die it is my mission to see justice for all the other moms and children (now adults) for all the abuse both moms and children endured at the Mother and Baby homes by both nuns and priests.

Not only did my mom go through so many years of heartbreak some time after I was born she was caught putting little booties on me. She not only heard the wrath of the nuns running the facility she was moved to Good Shepard Home, another hell-hole to stay until finally in 1976, with a lot of Irish fuss by my cousins and family, they got her out of that institution and moved into their very loving home for the remaining years of her life.

It was called Mother and Baby homes but believe me I am a living survivor of the disgusting abuse done to both me and my mom. The priests were able to relieve their ‘urges’ every Sunday after Sunday feast with the Mother Superior and her fellow nuns. All we ate was bread and cream of mushroom soup or potato soup every day of our lives.

I returned from Ireland for the final burial of my birth mom in October 2010. The truth did set me free but the scars of the abuse will never leave me. As I believe many others out there in USA like myself shipped out for money to awaiting adopted parents have their stories too. No review or booklets given to them of the challenges awaiting them by accepting a child (me) who was suffering from Post Traumatic Disorder before it was even defined by the Medical Jounals.

I never married nor as much as I love children and would have loved to have a child of my own but because of the nightmares and damage done to me from birth till I was sent to USA at the tender age of 4 and half years old I had a lot of issues.

Sharing my story with others via internet on the adoption ireland web site has beenamazing. All of us strangers but survivors of the same orphanage have so much in common it is mind blowing. Most of us have difficulty with relationships – intimacy issues, fears of the dark, trust issues, fear of abandonment is forever present and many of us had tough childhoods.

I was not adopted as a baby and just placed in the arms of parental strangers. I wound up being the ‘seed of a sinner’ as the nuns called it and the Catholic church came up with this idea to get us out of the country and sell us out so they could make more and more and more money for their parishes.

It was all about money and secrets and lies. And over and over I was reminded ‘blood is thicker than water and you will never amount to anything’ I must tell the truth and those words came out of the mouth of my adopted father. we never were close – I was never acknowledged as his daughter for his 10 year old biological daughter was the only child he wanted and adored My adopted mom was full of love and always went the extra yard to defend me or protect me from any harm.

She loved me unconditionally. Her end came in 1992 and prior to her death she gave me my original birth certificate and my original passport which were major missing links and the beginning of my reuniting with my birth mom.

No longer did I believe I was alone and I certainly was not ‘bad’ or a ‘loser’ and many of us throughout the USA suffered as I did  – being sold to USA families and ripped out of the arms of our true moms. All of us children at that time had dollar amounts on our heads for the greedy Catholic nuns and priest for their parishes’ purses and to buy more land…and believe me it cost some of us our lives but most of all it left us with deep holes in our tiny hearts.

But I am a better person today and of all the dreams I have had in my life this was the best dream come true. I had the joy of caring for both moms during their most needed times of their lives. I took care of both moms as a daughter and a nurse which is the career I chose because I am loyal, intelligent, compassionate and had the ability to medically care for them both during their dying hours.

That was a gift for me. And brought me such joy. I don’t think there are too many people out there who had two moms that I was able to be both their private nurse and give them the love just pouring out of my veins from my heart forever and ever.”

Sincerely Catherine Regina Deasy, Florida USA

Via The Adopted (Newsday)

Previously: The Mother Superior And Child

Thanks Sibling of Daedalus

sarto

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y6KZEUHx_s&start=2220&end=2407]

From last night’s BBC2 documentary ‘Ireland’s Lost Babies’, Sacred Heart nun, Sister Sarto Harney, [Mother Superior of Bessborough Mother and Child Home] made a reappearance.

Cathy Deasy, who was adopted, had been trying to trace her mother for years and wrote many times to Sister Sarto. Sister Sarto suggested that her mother was dead.

But Cathy discovered her mother was alive and had spent 35 years in an institution after giving birth to her in a mother and baby home.

She confronted Sister Sarto in 2002 and captured the moment on video.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Dk2r6jhFiUE&start=135]

From 1996, in an RTÉ Prime Time documentary Sister Sarto said:

“I think it is the right of every individual to know their background and we help in any way we can to put people in contact with their parent of origin.”

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tAGkJAViiLU&start=199]

Earlier this year on TV3, Sister Sarto said in relation to Bessborough Mother and Baby Home that no babies were adopted or vaccinated without the mothers’ permission:

“I think it’s sad that it’s come to this. We gave our lives to looking after the girls and we’re certainly not appreciated for doing it.”

Ireland’s Lost Babies is on RTÉ One tonight at 10:15pm.

Previously: Staying In Tonight?

After Philomena

The Art Of Storytelling

Anything Good On BBC News At Ten?

Cross Her Sacred Heart