Advanced search

People not knowing they were adopted

(37 Posts)
eloisesparkle Tue 29-May-18 18:45:27

Christ on a bike another fu** up.
Some people born between the late 1940's to the late 1960s may be adopted but not know it.
You couldn't make this stuff up.

OP’s posts: |
BrandNewHouse Tue 29-May-18 21:46:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Thu 31-May-18 12:56:52

On the radio they said that some children had a birth cert issued as though they were the birth child of their adoptive parents. So how has it been uncovered that they were actually adopted? It must be a shock for those affected. There are so many terrible revelations now about horrible attitudes and actions back then, women and children really were just seen as commodities. sad

ILikTheBred Thu 31-May-18 19:39:31

The files of the 126 people had notes attached saying the birth certs had been registered with the adoptive couple as the parents (ie falsified).

So they expect there are many others which were also falsified (without notes), but there is no way of knowing.

Empoweredwomenempowerwomem Thu 31-May-18 19:45:11

This happened to an aunt of mine (born mid sixties) she didn’t find out until after her mum (the lady’s who adopted her) died.
Absolutely insane

Kursk Thu 31-May-18 19:53:28

A guy where DH used to work applied for MOD security clearance. He was phoned in a open plan office by the MOD and told they needed his birth parents details, he had supplied his adoptive parents details only.

.....that’s how he found out.

keyboardkate Thu 31-May-18 20:03:36

There was an an audit conducted by TUSLA, the child and family agency of adoption agencies. They discovered that there was a discrepancy between adoption papers being signed by the birth mother and the actual birth certificates.

This will not end with 150. That was just a sample.

The kids were mostly sold (yes) by nuns to wealthy Americans, or less often to rural couples who could not have children of their own and needed to keep the farm in family hands, hence the child arrived.

I am guessing that a lot of the Tuam babies who were registered as dead were in fact sent off for so called "biological adoptions"

I am not in the least surprised by this.

I am concerned though. Imagine if you thought Mam and Dad were your bio parents, and you will now be told by a Government agency that NO, they are not, and never have been. It is a very delicate situation.

CountFosco Thu 31-May-18 20:05:15

Bizarrely I've just had this conversation with DM about a family friend. We all know her father adopted her (her mother was her mother, she was the product of a youthful relationship that didn't last) but she said something recently that makes us think she doesn't know her Dad isn't her biological Dad. SIL wants to tell her (old school friends), DM said don't say anything unless she asks. Difference in generations attitudes I think.

ForgivenessIsDivine Thu 31-May-18 20:10:02

This causes so much pain. People who know in pain because of the secrets they hold, people who don't know in pain because deep down they know something and they have no idea why they are suffering.

eloisesparkle Thu 31-May-18 20:19:42

Surely adoptive parents were complicit in pretending that they were birth parents ?

OP’s posts: |
keyboardkate Thu 31-May-18 20:20:56

I follow the Irish political scene, especially re Brexit. That country is a good egg mostly from what I can see.

But I know that depends on your voting preference and your allegiance.

ROI seems to be a lot more compassionate and realistic than the bigots in the DUP anyway.

noseoftralee Thu 31-May-18 20:22:12

Heard woman on radio this morning describe it as more akin to child trafficking. Which is absolutely correct.

keyboardkate Thu 31-May-18 20:26:53


Yes they were. But there was a lot of stigma about not being able to have kids back in the day, mainly to preserve the inheritance of the farm in Ireland, and US parents didn't care it seems as long as they paid the nuns and got a child.

The bottom line is, this duplicity was facilitated by Catholic Adoption Agencies. Shame on them.

I was listening to an Irish radio prog about this, and it was said that everyone knew the child was not the birth child of some, but they stayed quiet.

CopONNotLinkedIn Thu 31-May-18 20:29:13

Dont they already know?
You need a bc to get a pps number and unless ur a millionaire who avoids tax somehow you have a pps. They dont just give you one cos u ask

WeShouldOpenABar Thu 31-May-18 20:33:13

Until recently I thought my dad was one of these babies. He was brought to his parents in the midwives bike basket shock or so the story goes.

He's earlier than these babies though 1940s and it seems no one even bothered with pretending on the paper work, his legal name was never changed his parents just called him what they called him and went about their lives. He didn't find out until he went for his first passport at which point he just changed his name by deed poll so was never officially adopted.

WeShouldOpenABar Thu 31-May-18 20:35:35

There's also a lot of people adopted in my area who don't know or didn't know initially but EVERYONE else seemed too. Same with sisters who were actually mothers, the stigma was real and the community bought into the pretences for everyones comfort i suppose.

keyboardkate Thu 31-May-18 20:42:50


They sure had a Birth Certificate, in the name of the adoptive parents though, not their biological parents.

An adoption certificate is given to those adopted AFAIK. And then the search begins for the birth parents.

Is that correct? someone might know.

IHeartKingThistle Thu 31-May-18 20:48:01

I know someone (in her 60s now) who found out she was adopted in her 20s when she sat behind two old ladies gossiping about it on the bus sad

eloisesparkle Thu 31-May-18 20:56:24

DH is adopted. He doesn't have a 'real'
birth cert. He has an adopted persons one with his adopted parents name and the name they gave him.
He researched himself, spent hours in the Research Room in the General Register Office in Werburgh Street Dublin 8 and got his birth mothers name. He subsequently found out it wasn't exactly her first name but very close - obviously birth registered by a nun in the Mother and Baby home he was born in.
He also got his adopted siblings real birth certs too and their mothers names.
Once you know the date of birth and the place of registration you can narrow down the search.

OP’s posts: |
WeShouldOpenABar Thu 31-May-18 20:57:16

Iheart that's how I found out about my dad, some gossip who was watching me to make sure it landed angry

keyboardkate Thu 31-May-18 21:02:50

Whatever about anything associated with this for now.

Could you imagine a knock at your door telling you that your parents are not your biological parents at all, even though they have been registered unlawfully as such. OMG.

Although I am sure the disclosures will not happen with a knock on the door either. I am sure TUSLA and other agencies are agonising about how to tell people about this.

CopONNotLinkedIn Thu 31-May-18 21:06:38

@eloisesparkle thanks for that explanation

Decorhate Sun 03-Jun-18 07:53:02

Weshouldopenabar As your father was born before 1953 (when legal adoption was introduced) the only way to place a baby permanently with a new family was to do it informally. I suspect lots of the falsified birth certs are from that era, when home births were the norm so easier to register a baby as the natural child of the adoptive parents.

I can only imagine how disturbing it must be to discover late in life that you were adopted. But I know a few elderly people who were raised in children's homes or treated as servants by foster families so the alternatives available at the time were not great... Perhaps the adoptive parents were afraid of authorities finding out if they told the children.

The other thing to remember is that until relatively recently adoption was supposed to be final & no further contact with the birth mother. I can remember my lovely neighbours in the 70s, who adopted several children, being petrified that the birth mother would change her mind before the paperwork was finalised. It was very different times & I guess the long term effect on the children was not considered.

I am also starting to feel that it is becoming an easy way to come to terms with these historic wrong doings to blame Catholic organisations rather than looking at society as a whole at that time. It was not just Ireland & the church treating women badly. English mental hospitals in the 90s were full of elderly women whose only problem was that they had had a baby outside marriage when they were young...

MikeWyzowski Sun 03-Jun-18 08:06:19

I cannot help but think of those mothers who gave their children up for adoption, they were promised it would not come back to haunt them. Many would not have spoken about it since. Now they have this fear of being outed anew. That fear doesn't seem logical to younger generations (like me) but it is real. My dhmtraced his mother through the GRO and wrote to her, she is scared he will turn up on her doorstep and "everyone will know". He has been writing to her annually asking her to get in touch but she will not. The idea that adopted children have a right to information does not sit well with everyone, and not necessarily with those you would expect to want to know about them.

While I do feel for her with her (to my mind) unfounded fear of shame(?) I feel even more for my dh who believed all his life that she would be thrilled to hear from him. That she is seemingly repulsed and afraid of him is heart breaking again and again. The adoption system was flawed in More ways than the obvious one around which this thread started.

Decorhate Sun 03-Jun-18 08:14:16

I agree MikeWyzowski Yes some women always regretted giving up their babies & hoped to reconnect with them but others don't want that or are afraid of the consequences.

I also think that there is some double standards in the reporting. I know many people in Ireland who have adopted from abroad in recent years. While they don't hide their children's origins, I often wonder how willingly their birth parents gave them up. It's like history repeating itself in reverse.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in