Ireland the US and adoption

30 Dec

Ireland used to export babies to the US and now the US is exporting babies to Ireland…it all just makes me sick…I don’t see much different today other than the players have changed…

And people wonder why adoptees get angry…

Two articles from the Irish Examiner about concerns over inter-country adoptions from Florida.  November 2011:

Officials investigate US adoptions Excerpt below – read the article…

“A DELEGATION from the Adoption Authority have visited the US to examine “a number of concerns” about adoptions between Ireland and the US, in particular from Florida.”

Adoption practises – Children are not sale items Entire article below 

“Under the Adoption Act 2010 people in Ireland can only adopt children from countries that have signed the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption, or from countries with which this country has a bilateral adoption agreement.

Bilateral agreements with countries such as Russia, Vietnam and Ethiopia have collapsed in recent years. There are hopeful signs that adoptions from Vietnam can be resumed in the near future.

Florida, which comes under the Hague Convention as part of the US, has become a popular place for Irish people wishing to adopt. Five children have already been adopted from Florida this year, but questions are being raised about further adoptions from that state.

It is a core tenet of both Irish law and the Hague Convention that in instances of adoption, only reasonable levels of professional legal fees can be paid, and all reimbursements of expenses must be justifiable. This is not designed to impede adoption but to ensure that adoption agencies do not engage in the commercial trafficking of children.

No country should permit children to be bought and sold like a commodity.”

And at the same time Ireland is still grappling with the many adoption horror stories that happened there from my era – here is the latest and best I can figure out – vaccine trials were done on babies and children from maternity homes as late as the 1960’s, and for the hundreds of babies who died, they were dissected at Universities. 

September 2011: 15,000 adoption files still to be transferred over to HSE  Excerpt below – Read the article

“SOME 15,000 adoption files, including those relating to controversial vaccine trials carried out on children at a mother-and-baby home run by the Sacred Heart Convent at Bessborough in Cork, have yet to be transferred to the HSE.”

October 2011: Adoption groups demand inquiry into dissections Excerpt below – Read the article

“ADOPTION groups have received a large surge in calls to helplines following revelations that hundreds of dead babies from mother and baby homes were dissected in universities.

An RTÉ Prime Time investigation into vaccine trials carried out in the homes, found that more than 400 babies were dissected by medical students in a practice that continued into the 1960s.”

The Ireland Adoption Rights Alliance website is extremely enlightening, and tells far more detail on exactly what happened back then, and the movement to get to the bottom of it, as well as give adoptees the same right to know as non-adopted individuals.


Posted by on December 30, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “Ireland the US and adoption

  1. Fiona Lowe

    September 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    My mum had a son at Sean Ross Abbey on 11/11/56. The St Patricks Guild handled his adoption to the USA. My mum has sadly passed away but couldn’t talk about that time in her life. I am trying to trace him but am at the mercy of the agency. All I knew is that she has son. i didn’t know where when or anything. Its been a struggle and affects me every day. I seem to get close and the door closes again. ARGHHHHHH


    • TAO

      September 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Have you found this group helpful? The link takes you to a post on Sean Ross Abbey but I haven’t spent any real time exploring the website or what the can do.


    • Ruth

      November 26, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Hi Fiona, My Mother had a son adopted to USA from St. Patrick’s Guild, in December 1961. He was born on 1st May 1960. I spoke with Sr. Francis at the Guild, and wrote letters, no luck, as she said he has all the info needed to make contact, but he hasn’t, but very difficult to believe after watching the film ‘Philomena’, which is opening up a can of worms in relation to this terrible part of this country’s history. My Mother is still alive, and very damaged from this experience, as she was sent to the North of Ireland to have the baby, and then he was put with the nuns until adopted to USA., she feels that it is best to leave well alone!!! Anyway, I would be interested to know how much info you have been able to obtain about your Mother’s son.


  2. crystalclrnews

    January 25, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Hi, I’m a journalist from Chicago and I just got back from Dublin. I am working on an international adoption article in which I am comparing this very topic: How adoption from Ireland was a big “business” during the 1950s-1970s, and how in the current state of time the roles have reversed and Ireland is indeed adopting children from the U.S., while U.S. residents would never be allowed to adopt an Irish child. I am looking for any sources that would be able to speak on this issue, whether you’ve tried to adopt or are adopted yourself, or can even lead me to more insight on the topic. Please email at Thank you.



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