Dark History

15,000 Adopted Irish Babies May Have False Birth Certificates

As many as 15,000 people born in Ireland may have had their births falsely registered to obscure the fact they were taken, often without consent, from single mothers, many of whom were told their babies had died. The government is now auditing a sample of 100,000 Irish adoption records after it was discovered that 126 people were told their births were deliberately and falsely registered between 1946 and 1969 by the St. Patrick’s Guild, a former “adoption society.” The irregularities were only discovered after an index card was found on the 126 files that read “adopted from birth.” Many Irish babies were sent to Catholic parents in the U.S. “We are opening what is another chapter from the very dark history in our country but we are a different country now and I think the results from the referendum at the weekend show that,” Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said Wednesday. There were 182 adoption agencies similar to St. Patrick’s Guild. Fergus Finlay, the head of child-protection charity Barnardos, warned that as many as 15,000 adoptions could be involved. “I suspect every single adoption agency in the country is involved. That’s 150,000 babies. It would be amazing if at least 10 percent of them were not illegal,” he said.