Adoption recording birthmother voice research
What is a de-facto adoption? A de-facto adoption is a pre adoption, i. Is an illegal adoption a de-facto adoption? An illegal adoption is not a de-facto adoption, though the Adoption Authority and adoption agencies often refer to illegal adoptions in this manner. An illegal adoption is where the child was registered as the natural child of the adoptive parents. For a more detailed definition of illegal adoptions click here. Should we not make allowances? Separating mother and child is never a natural thing to do, no matter what social or economic pressures are involved.
Adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary problem and usually these problems can be addressed. Shockingly, the unnecessary separation of mothers and children is still happening today, except the separation is occurring in developing countries. History is repeating itself and sadly, far too few people recognise this. Times may have changed in Ireland, but we are happy enough to inflict the same cruelty on vulnerable women and children of the developing world today.
Search me: why did I go looking for my birth mother online?
It is also important that privacy and secrecy are not confused. There are of course some instances where natural mothers decide they cannot bring themselves to have contact. The adopted person is the only one who had absolutely no choice in their adoption and this can never be forgotten. If a natural mother feels she cannot bring herself to meet her son or daughter, regardless of that there is a moral obligation to provide as much information as possible to the adopted person, both medical and otherwise.
In our experience, in the majority of cases where the natural mother does not want contact, the adopted person will usually go on to have a very positive relationship with other members of the natural family. For a more detailed analysis click here. Natural mothers were never guaranteed anonymity and despite many requests to church-run adoption agencies, no signed confidentiality agreement or guarantee of anonymity has ever been produced. In fact, in reality, natural mothers were forced to sign documents in which they swore sometimes in front of a priest to never seek out their children.
Technically speaking, anonymity could never have been guaranteed as all births are a matter of public record. Whatever assumption there may have been of anonymity, in reality this assertion is completely unfounded.
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What if the natural mother is afraid of her son or daughter knocking on her door? It is very rare for an adopted person to knock on the door of their natural mother. The adopted person will have meticulously conducted a search, in the hope of connecting with their natural mother and common sense would tell most people that knocking on the door with this sort of news would give anyone a shock. So, most opt to write a discreet letter that only the natural mother will understand, so that even if someone else opens the letter it just looks like an old friend getting in touch.
People who have no experience of adoption will mostly form their opinions based on what they see in television and film.
Are you anti-adoption? We also strongly oppose closed secret adoption, as it is not child centred and has proven to be very unhealthy for the adopted child and for adult adopted people.
There is no argument that children who genuinely need a home outside their own family and community should be offered the stability they deserve. However, this stability should not come at the heavy price of losing your name, family, culture and community. We are living in an era that increasingly recognises the intelligence and sentience of foetuses and infants. For example, we recently came across research demonstrating that infants cry in the accent of their mother tongue.
Other research shows how unborn children enjoy music and mothers are encouraged to read to the baby in their womb and speak to them. For some reason, research such as this seems to be thrown out the window when it comes to adoption and it is assumed that the adopted infant is deaf, dumb, mute and devoid of emotion.
Not all gay people want to join the army, however that doesn't mean that the option shouldn't be there for those who do.
Data Protection Choices
In the same way, while not all adopted people are ready to trace at 18 years old, that does not mean that they should not be afforded this right. We should add that if adoptions assuming the adoption is absolutely necessary in the first place were open, there would be no need for such speculation about whether adopted people should or shouldn't trace. Also, when an adopted person becomes a parent, they soon realise that their adoption does not just affect them but their children and grandchildren and all future generations.
If a small number of adopted people choose not to trace, it is not a good enough reason to withhold records. It is also worth noting that we have often been approached by the adult children of living and deceased adopted people, who want to trace their natural family. We have also been contacted by the spouses of adopted people who are concerned about the lack of medical information and family history for their children. Many adopted people feel a big sense of loyalty towards their adoptive parents and are afraid to tell them they want to trace for fear of hurting them.
Among the participants in the Clann Project were Philomena Lee and her daughter, Jane Libberton, who made a short film to encourage others to come forward and make a witness statement. It is imperative that their voices should be heard. Excerpts from Witness Testimony. The Clann Project Report contains evidence of human rights abuses throughout the network of County Homes, Mother and Baby Homes, adoption agencies, Magdalene Laundries and other entities involved in institutionalising and separating women and their children.
The Report also provides compelling accounts of continuing abuse through the secrecy and manipulation of records and other information by the State and private entities involved in the abuses. See for example the following excerpts from the Clann Project Report for further quotations, navigate to the relevant paragraph in the Report :.
Conditions in Mother and Baby Homes and Institutions.
Tips to start the adoption search
Para 1. I begged the nuns to take my son to a hospital, but they only did so after two weeks had passed. Para 2. It most certainly was not. I felt very lonely all my life. Para 3. They have been obstructive from the start and I have been refused access to a large amount of information.
I felt that some of the details I was provided were given in order to lead me down a garden path. This experience has made me very angry and I feel like I have been lied to. It has been the most daunting, depressing, miserable and lonely search. Obtaining Birth Certificates.
Bean Ed. London and New York: Tavistock. Page October 15, October 15, Due to its underpinning legislation and the Commission of Investigation model — which in the view of the Clann Project is significantly hindering the process and must be reviewed — the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related Matters is proceeding in private and is refusing personal or public access to the files it is considering: The Commission has declined all requests for public hearings and is conducting its inquiry entirely in private.
International Advances in Adoption Research for Practice | Wiley Online Books
A new process of investigation should be opened to all stakeholders and make access to information its primary goal; A State apology should be issued to all those who have been affected; Redress and reparations, primarily in the form of access to information, and also material benefits and symbolic reparations devised through a process led by people directly affected; Introduction of statutory rights and services for adopted people, natural parents, relatives of the deceased and all individuals who experienced abuse, including centralised records and access to archives and tracing services; Acknowledgement by religious orders and church hierarchies; Establishment of a specific unit to investigate criminal allegations; Amended Statute of Limitations and reformed legal aid to enable multi-party litigation; Active and ongoing memorialisation and research.
Access to adoption files in other European jurisdictions The following are examples of other European countries which provide adopted people with access to their birth certificates and adoption records see also our Briefing note on Access to Information here : Northern Ireland Since , adopted people over 18 in Northern Ireland have been able to access their birth certificates and adoption files. England and Wales In England and Wales, adopted people over 18 years old have had the right to access their birth records since , when the Children Act was introduced.
Germany In Germany, since , any child including adopted children can access their birth certificates once they reach the age of Spain In Spain, adopted people over the age of 18 can access their birth certificates and adoption files.
click here Belgium In Belgium, since , adopted people have automatic access to their birth certificates. Philomena Lee and Dame Judi Dench Among the participants in the Clann Project were Philomena Lee and her daughter, Jane Libberton, who made a short film to encourage others to come forward and make a witness statement. Excerpts from Witness Testimony The Clann Project Report contains evidence of human rights abuses throughout the network of County Homes, Mother and Baby Homes, adoption agencies, Magdalene Laundries and other entities involved in institutionalising and separating women and their children.
Section 19 of the Commissions of Investigation Act , which states that statements or admissions made to the Commission, documents given or sent to the Commission, and documents specified in an affidavit and given to the Commission are not admissible as evidence against a person in any criminal or other proceedings.