A mother’s search: ‘My baby could have been given to a couple anywhere’

Dear Sir,
Here we are, yet again, looking at another scandal concerning adoption — one about which many people and successive governments have known for decades.

Babies were sold to American couples and other wealthy people; sold at home in Ireland also. Records kept in the bowels of the Department of Foreign Affairs were spoken about by Dick Spring when he was minister of that department; he promised the release of these records decades ago; never done.

This issue is no secret. But maybe now is the time when younger people, elected representatives born after these scandals occurred, may be prepared to help us lift the lid on our awfully painful past. Behind all the illegally adopted people there were birth mothers who had their babies stolen from them without permission, and taken behind their backs. The percentage of permission given by mothers, if at all, was so small as to be almost non-existent.

These mothers had no choice in this. There was no way, during a certain period of Ireland’s history, that one could leave a mother and baby home with one’s baby, whether one wanted to or not. I was one of those mothers who, at 16 years of age, spent six months, in 1965, in such a home. I was a private patient, paid for by my uncle, and therefore didn’t have to spend years there. 

My baby disappeared one day, never to be seen by me again, nor his birth recorded, to my knowledge.

I have no record of my having been there, despite having requested this information, presumably because money changed hands. I have been searching every avenue for 25 years, including American adoptions. I have been told that my baby could have been given to a couple “down the lane” or “anywhere in the town” — in this country or another country.

Imagine having no record to verify that you were in a mother and baby home. The only proof I have is that one of the girls/mothers died suddenly in March that year.

The authorities have confirmed that death, which I remembered. So it would appear that I was never there; no record of my presence or of the existence of my baby; only the death of an unfortunate woman to prove any of this. And so, in 2018, I and other birth mothers of that era are still searching, bearing the pain of our loss every day and wondering why our children have never come looking for us so that we could be reunited.

Can we dare to hope for resolution now?

Yours sincerely,

Anne Hennessy,


Full address with the editor

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