A mother has ended nearly 50 years of heartache by successfully tracing the daughter she was forced to give up for adoption at birth.
The woman gave birth to a baby girl in 1966 in the Mother and Baby Home in Castlepollard in County Westmeath. It was a time when having a baby out of wedlock brought great shame on a family.
Within moments of the birth the distraught mother was told by a priest and matron that her daughter had been adopted. She hadn’t signed consent papers or agreed to this. She never even got to hold or cuddle her baby.
The woman went on to marry and have four more children but never gave up hope that she would be reunited with her daughter again one day.
After being diagnosed with cancer she stepped up her search so that she could warn her daughter of potential health risks in her future. She contacted Independent politician, Clare Daly to request some help. Daly passed the details on to the Adoption Rights Alliance, who were able to find the daughter.
Daly said: “Her daughter was absolutely delighted and is looking forward to meeting her mother. 30 years searching ended in ten days.”
Daly also complained in the Dáil (Irish parliament) that the woman should have been re-united with her daughter a long time ago, given that the relevant records were available. She pointed out that there were “thousands of people in similar circumstances desperately searching for their adopted family members”.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has promised a meeting between Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald and the Adoption Alliance, to ensure that similar oversights are not repeated in the future.