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Commission won't say if it contacted adoption authority on report

Added on April 19, 2017


The Mother and Baby Homes Commission has refused to confirm whether or not it contacted the Adoption Authority (AAI) about a section in its second interim report dealing with illegal birth registrations.

Commission chair Ita Mangan refused to answer questions.

The section in question outlines a scenario where a child is illegally registered as the natural child of the 'adoptive' parents but there is an adoption order.

The report states: "In these cases, the Adoption Authority of Ireland have records and, if there was an adoption society involved, that society should have records.

"It may be that some people registered the adopted child in their own name without realising that this was illegal and that they should have applied for an adoption order."

Last week, the Irish Examiner revealed if an adoption order existed in the above scenario, the Adoption Board would have been granting it in the knowledge the birth was illegally registered and, therefore, fraudulent. Illegal registrations were usually carried out so as to circumvent the adoption process and make the child appear as if born to the 'adoptive' couple.

The Irish Examiner put a series of questions to the commission asking if it had found any documented cases where a birth was falsified and an adoption order exists and if it had been in communication with the AAI in relation to same.

Commission director Ita Mangan declined to answer the questions, stating it had not yet made any findings in relation to illegal adoptions.

"The information in the interim report came from many different sources including personal evidence of the people concerned," said a statement. "The commission has not reached any conclusions about possible illegalities in the adoption process in individual cases. The report is concerned only with issues of extension of the terms of reference; it is dealing only with those issues where groups have sought to have the terms of reference extended. The terms of reference already provide for an examination of the adoption process in the institutions under investigation. The issue of illegal birth registrations unconnected to the institutions was raised by a number of individuals and groups."

Asked again, it was reiterated:

"As I said, we have not yet investigated individual cases. At this stage I cannot be more specific -- the issues will be fully described and analysed in the final report."

The Irish Examiner understands that the AAI is not aware of any such cases and that it received no communication from the commission in regard to its section on illegal birth registrations.

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