From top: Mothers and babies at St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home, Navan Road, Dublin in the late 1960s.; Solicitor Rod Baker
You may recall how a Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes was launched last year.
Further to this…
Rod Baker, a consultant at Hogan Lovells, writes in the Solicitors Journal:
A team of lawyers from Hogan Lovells is assisting the Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) and Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR) in a project aimed at assisting people affected by the Mother and Baby Homes.
This assistance, which is provided on a pro bono basis, involves helping individuals prepare statements setting out their experiences, which can then be sent to the Commission of Investigation.
The long-term ambition is to create a database of evidence that will enable ARA and JFMR to make collective submissions to the commission based on the evidence gathered.
These submissions will relate not only to the findings the commission should make about what happened in the homes and how they operated within the state system, but also to the recommendations the commission should make to improve the status of, and information available to, adopted people.
For example, adopted people are not entitled to a copy of their birth certificate (a document that we might each think would be ours as of right) without first providing a statutory declaration that they will not try to contact their natural parents.
This project is known as Clann (the Irish word for family)…It is hoped that the Clann project will assist those affected by the Mother and Baby Homes, many of whom are elderly or vulnerable, to tell their stories.
We also hope that being able to provide the commission with evidence in an organised and comprehensive form will be of assistance to it in what ought to be the production of an exhaustive report exposing the detail of an uncomfortable chapter in Ireland’s history.
H/T: Claire McGettrick
Previously: ‘Must Be Mounted On A Crucifix’
Pic by Margaret Moloney via ‘Fallen Women’ project by Emer Gillespie