Adopted son ‘passed off’ as couple’s child

A woman claims her newborn son was passed off as the biological child of another couple after she believed he had been sent for adoption 54 years ago, the High Court has heard.

The woman and the son are suing a private adoption organisation over what they say were fraudulent documents stating the baby was the natural child of the couple who brought up the boy.

They are also suing the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) and the State claiming they failed or refused to provide information once the mother discovered what had happened.

The private organisation, St Patrick’s Guild Adoption Society, theAAI, and the State deny the claims.

The case was before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan who was asked by the AAI to direct the plaintiffs to respond to requests for more details in relation to their action so that the case can be fully defended.

Mr Justice Gilligan directed the plaintiffs to provide further particulars within three weeks in relation to certain matters set out in a detailed submission from the Authority. Eanna Mulloy SC, for the mother and son, said that, at the age of 21, in 1961, the mother gave birth in Dublin by arrangement, having travelled from England.

She later spent years trying to find out who had adopted him. Since 2001, it is claimed, the AAI did nothing even though it was well aware of what in fact had happened — that her son had been registered as the natural child of a couple from a town in the country.

The boy also had “a horrific upbringing by his putative father” in that country town, counsel said.

Asked by Mr Justice Gilligan if it was the case that the natural mother had never consented to adoption, counsel said she did consent but it was not done in accordance with law and documentation relating to the baby was fraudulent in which he was “passed off as the true natural first child of this couple”.

It was only in 2006 the mother “got wind from a nun in the adoption society” of what actually happened.


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