There exists a strong possibility that there are Irish adopted children, now adults, in the US, who have no idea they are adopted from Ireland
The scandal broke earlier this week when it was reported by adoption agencies that at least 15,000 children very likely had their adopted parents named on the birth cert as the natural parents.
The church and adoption agencies at the time – in the 40s and 50s and 60s mainly – covered up the natural mother’s name in order to dispense with legalities, expedite the adoptions and sell the babies for thousands of dollars each they did in many cases.
The Taoiseach has described revelations about illegal adoption as another dark chapter in Ireland’s history. It has emerged 126 children from one agency were placed with people wrongly registered as their birth parents between the 1940s and 1960s.
Given that thousands of the adopted children ended up in America it is perfectly plausible that children never knew they were originally from Ireland unless their parents told them, which was by no means the usual practice back then.
If they suspected and looked at the birth record it would tell them nothing because their adopted parents would be named.
It is yet another story of abuse of helpless women in Ireland, in this case, pregnant out of wedlock women, back at a time when that was a more shameful deed than murdering someone.
Some years ago one of our reporters covering this story discovered she had a sister in Texas her family knew a thing about. The question is, how many more are out there?
In 1952, Irish teenager Philomena became pregnant out of wedlock and was sent to a convent. When her baby, Anthony, was a toddler, the nuns took Philomena’s child away from her and put him up for adoption in the United States. For the next 50 years, she searched tirelessly for her son. When former BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith learns of the story, he becomes her ally. They travel together to America to find Anthony and become unexpectedly close in the process.
The heartbreaking story is relived by Martin in his world best-selling book ‘Philomena’ which later became a major feature film. Philomena’s story has highlighted the scandal of the missing Irish babies which is now once again making worldwide news.
Article courtesy of Irish Central.