19 April 2013
Taoiseach Enda Kenny,
Department of the Taoiseach.
On behalf of the illegally adopted people of Ireland I am requesting that the government set up an investigation into the many illegal/forced adoptions that have occurred, especially post 1952 when the adoption law came into force. The practice still continued however, (contravening the adoption act 1952) within a network of doctors/social workers and nurses into the 80s. I have evidence of this from illegal adoptees who have contacted me and also evidence from a mother who was forced to hand over her baby who was then illegally adopted. The child involved, now an adult age 48 contacted me recently. They are one of the lucky few who found each other after 48yrs. I also have a file on myself from the age of 2-16yrs. The file has the names of the social worker and nurse involved.
Between the end of WW11 and 1973 more than 2,132 infants were illegally adopted out of the country to be placed with wealthy Catholic Americans. Those children, known as the Banished Babies , and now adults are still seeking their parents and their identity. In Australia the recent apology from Prime Minister Julia Gillard, to mothers whose children were taken forcibly in the 1960% was 60% while in Ireland in 1967 the number was much higher at a startling 97%!!!
Ireland has lagged behind many of it’s neighbours on identity rights contravening Article 8 of the UN convention that states a person has a legal right to their identity/citizenship. I heard your speech after the Magdalen investigation and you were obviously moved by their plight. Part of the women’s distress was the indignity of having their names changed and erasing forever their identity/citizenship. Illegal adoptees suffer throughout their life from the same lack of respect for their identity rights. It is not acceptable to deny individuals access to information about who they are and where they came from, creating a lifelong legacy of pain and suffering.
Adopted Illegally Ireland is asking that an inquiry into Illegal/forced adoption is established. There are files out there and a team needs to be dedicated to locate and seize these files. I can personally point to one set that has appeared in the attic of one of the many former nursing homes, that closed shortly before the new Health Act in 1972. Although the damage caused by closed, secret, forced adoption, can never be fully repaired; an investigation by the Irish government would go a long way towards that end.
Since many of the people involved in this dreadful situation are elderly and their time is extremely limited, I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible. Any unnecessary delays will lead directly to many victims of illegal adoptions never being re-united. I look forward to hearing from you.
Theresa Tinggal – Founder, Adopted-Illegally Ireland