Adoption in Ireland

I just started reading Frank McCourt’s book Angela’s Ashes today.  The book begins during the Great Depression where the main character Francis is telling the story of his family.  There was a very short reference to adoption in the beginning of the book which got me thinking about what little I know about adoptions in Ireland both domestically and internationally.

After some initial googling I came across a few websites, and

According to Adoption Loss, over 100,000 Irish have been adopted.  This includes 42,000 Irish adoptees when legal adoptions began in 1952.  But, there have also been cases of “de facto” adoption, when adoptive parents register their adopted children as their biological children.

And similar to many other countries such as Korea, the roles of religious organizations and their influence on the many unwed mothers who relinquished their children for adoption is apparent.

Perhaps what is most empowering to me is to see the adoption community in Ireland fighting for many of the same rights that we fight for in the Korean adoptee and American domestic adoptee communities.

I’m hoping to learn more about adoption in Ireland, so if you have any particular resources please let me know about them!  -Thanks GS


3 Comments on “Adoption in Ireland

  1. My husband is from Ireland and adoption from there is difficult and uncommon, but easier if you are adopting a relative.
    The issue is that there are so many “bonuses” for unwed mothers, that it is actually beneficial to have and keep a child as a single parent. They get lots of free items, housing, money, etc. from the government. Because of this, not many people choose adoption because they could actually have a “better” life with all the government aid than they would have if they chose adoption or even got married and then had a baby.
    The Catholic society tried so hard to prevent abortions by helping those that were pregnant out of wedlock that they actually increased the number of children born that way and reduced the number of marriages and adoptions by creating such good “benefits.”

  2. Hi Sarah – Thanks for your insights. This makes me want to do a little more research.


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