As there are many organisations that support adoptees, this website has been created purely for those ‘informally’ or ‘illegally’ adopted’ or as the Irish Adoption Board likes to label us ‘defacto adoptees’. Unlike legal adoptions, where there are records kept of the birth mother, we do not have records, therefore forcing us to live in limbo, never knowing where we came from. l hope that this website will bring us together and help us compare our experiences and search methods. Please share what roadblocks you encountered and how you got around them as an informal/illegal adoptee. Copyright © 2011.
11 yrs ago at the age of 48 I discovered that I was adopted. Not adopted in the normal sense but informally or illegally. I was handed over to my adoptive parents and then registered as their legal child. It came as a great shock therefore when I discovered that I wasn’t who I thought I was, and so the search began!. It has been a long journey and I still haven’t found my birth mother or discovered the circumstances surrounding my birth.
Illegal adoptees became aware as adults, that they were illegally adopted. Sometimes when they went to obtain their birth certificates or sometimes purely by chance, when this information may have been divulged, or as in a lot of cases (like myself) by family relatives. From contacts with other ‘illegal adoptees’ we know that illegal adoptions were arranged by individuals and also by church run adoption agencies. These should have been inspected and monitored by the Irish Adoption Board. In fact these agencies have never been deregistered , pursued or investigated. The individuals concerned were usually a nurse, doctor and a social worker. I know from experience that the people involved with my ‘illegal’ adoption were never investigated or pursued. “ Couldn’t be found” was written on my file, when in fact I myself tracked down their families 3yrs ago. All three of course are now deceased, however there had to have been some medical files kept and I am convinced that they are archived safely in Ireland. This has deprived ‘illegal adoptees’ of their basic human right that is ‘knowing where you came from’, without this knowledge ‘illegal adoptees’ live in a permanent limbo throughout their lives.
Without proper legislation there is nothing to stop ‘illegal adoptions’ happening today. The new adoption bill has completely ignored the rights of not only ‘illegally’ adopted people but also legally adopted people.
If you are an ‘illegal adoptee’ or a birth parent or you have any knowledge of illegal adoptions please contact us in the strictest of confidence.
This should never be allowed to happen again!
AM I MARGARET O’GRADY? That is not what my birth cert says!
After I discovered that I was ‘adopted’ I was told by the Health Board that there were no records whatsoever. Six months later however (miracously,the way things seem to happen in Ireland) I received a file from them documenting my life from the age of 2-16yrs of age, with the last statement ”Theresa still doesn’t know that she is adopted”. The first page being that they went to the house that I was picked up from at two days old and there was no such nurse residing there. Quite strange when her daughter in law is still living there today.!! To this day I have never been offered any resources to help in the search for my birth mother. A further six months passed and I received an index card with the following:
Name of foster child Margaret O’Grady and name of foster mother………
With that information you are expected to go off on your merry way. “We don’t have any further information”. “That’s the way it was in the 50s”
NOT GOOD ENOUGH..the Irish Government need to take ownership of this problem and “no I am not going to go away”. What about the files of the 42 mother and baby homes in Dublin that were closed down (suddenly) in 1972 when the new Health Act was introduced? and there isn’t one set of files!!!!!!!!!!! Impossible and untrue as Nurse Doodys file was found in 2011 !! and how many more files are there in attics of old mother and baby homes...
Theresa Hiney Tinggal
Journalist wins top law society award for exposing illegal adoption scandals
3rd June 2011 - www.irishexaminer.ie
Well done to Conall O’Fatharta who was awarded the top prize at the prestigious Justice Media Awards for his work in exposing illegal adoptions in Ireland and who so well depicted my own story in the Irish Examiner April 23rd 2011 www.examiner.ie
Here is a journalist who is not afraid to speak out and expose the truth.
Maria Dumbell's Story
I was born in Ireland in 1950, my birth was never registered and the attitude of the Irish Government when I asked them for information was " well things were done illegally then" and we don't know who you are. When I threatened them many years ago with the Court Of Human Rights as I had no identity they gave me a passport. I have since discovered a document relating to me being Fostered/farmed out and they did know about it. The lady that took me was a registered foster patent the midwife that delivered me was a State Registered Midwife and they were given the legal form that stated intent to receive the infant for promise of reward. So things were done legally. However when I ask to see certain papers I am refused. I asked about the records of the Midwife and her Nursing home and was told when she died her records were destroyed.
I had to stop the search for many years because I had a young family at the time and it can take over your life. I am now a lot older and my family all adults and I now have the time to pursue my quest. I now feel after a lot of research and looking up the Human Rights Act that under article 8 the Irish Government are withholding information.
Personal information – the holding, use or disclosure of personal information about someone is covered by Article 8. The article may also give someone the right to access personal information held about them. I have since discovered I am only one amongst hundreds.
A little girl who had no name, and could not understand life's pain.
“I can not understand” said she, “how everyone is not like me”
So deep inside her heart near died, as day by day it cried and cried.
No one she'd trust, no one at all and around her heart she built a wall.
Sure, it matters not from whence you came, or if you bear a Fathers name.
And so it was down through the years, through sorrow, joy and sometimes tears.
Dedicated form me to my lovely children my soul mates xxxxxxxxxxxxx