The very first agency accredited by the Adoption Authority of Ireland under the much heralded Adoption Act 2010 was was St Patrick’s Guild – despite all that is known about its actions. Since this story ran in 2010, it has closed but adopted people are left waiting years for it to transfer its 13,500 files to Tusla. They are being offered no tracing service while they wait. It told the AAI in 2012 (see blog for more on this) it had “several hundred” illegal birth registrations on its books but was not telling the people involved. Guess what? Nobody decided to do anything on
It told the AAI in 2012 (see blog for more on this) it had “several hundred” illegal birth registrations on its books but was not telling the people involved. Guess what? Nobody decided to do anything on foot of this revelation and St Patrick’s Guild was kept out of the Mother and Baby Home inquiry. No reason was given for this exclusion, which beggars belief.
A RELIGIOUS-run adoption agency which facilitated a number of illegal adoptions and which exported over 500 “illegitimate” children to the US has been re-accredited by the Adoption Authority.
St Patrick’s Guild was last month accredited to assist adopted people and natural parents through tracing, counselling and mediating.
This is despite the fact that St Patrick’s Guild facilitated the illegal adoption and false birth registration of the son of Tressa Reeves — a case exposed by the Irish Examiner last year.
The agency allowed a couple to take the child without a formal adoption order being made. The couple then falsely registered the child as their own.
In letters to Ms Reeves, the agency admitted it had placed at least one other child in the same way.
Between 1947 and 1967, St Patrick’s Guild also arranged for the export of 572 “illegitimate” children to the US for adoption.
The agency dealt with more than 10,000 adoptions here and holds more than 13,000 files on children who were fostered or adopted.
Susan Lohan of the Adoption Rights Alliance said she was “astounded” St Patrick’s Guild had been re-accredited given the volume of complaints levelled at it over a period of decades.
“In our experience, it is one of the most unhelpful adoption agencies to deal with, whether the adoption was illegal or not… We sincerely hope that now St Patrick’s Guild is accredited, they will be submitted to rigorous inspection by the new Adoption Authority.”
In a statement, the Adoption Authority said the decision to accredit St Patrick’s Guild came after “a detailed examination of the body’s current policies, procedures and practices in terms of compliance with the 2010 Act and the Adoption Act 2010 (Accredited Bodies) Regulations 2010”.