• Sun. Oct 23rd, 2022

The co-founder of the Adoption Rights Alliance has expressed concern at the tone of the coverage of the report into mother-and-baby homes.

Jan 11, 2021

The co-founder of the Adoption Rights Alliance has expressed concern at the tone of the coverage of the report into mother-and-baby homes.
Susan Lohan said that she is concerned that “the Government is about to trivialise the really big human rights issues” that occurred in the homes when it publishes the commission’s report this week.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Ms Lohan said that she is “really dismayed at the tone of the article” that was published in the Sunday Independent, which contained leaked details of the report.
A member of the Collaborative Forum on Mother and Baby homes, Ms Lohan raised concerns about the newspaper running a side-bar article about women washing floors in the homes.
“I think the tone of the report that we’ve been given to believe, is one of describing the conditions in the homes, but of course the big question, the elephant in the room, is why were these homes established in the first place,” Ms Lohan said.
“For years, survivors groups have been saying that this is a form of social engineering, that the State and church worked in concert to ensure that women, unmarried mothers and girls, who were deemed to be a moral threat to the tone of the country, that they were to be out of public sight, incarcerated …  to ensure that they would not offend public morality.”
Ms Lohan said it was to achieve this aim that the children of these women were taken away and given to those of “good” families.
“I’m not hopeful that these big issues are going to be addressed given that in the leak to the Sunday Independent they haven’t led with that kind of content,” Ms Lohan said.
Taoiseach to give State apology to mother-and-baby home survivors
Ms Lohan said that she believed this week’s State apology should be “start in a series of apologies”.
She said that survivors would require weeks to analyse the content of this report which runs to more than 3,000 pages.
“How can they possibly adjudicate on the sincerity of a State apology, until they have had weeks … to digest the full report,” Ms Lohan said.
While this report covers 18 home and institutions, Ms Lohan said that 180 places were part of the Ireland’s “forced adoption system”, including State maternity hospitals.
She said that submissions to include them in the scope of the commission’s work had not been accepted.
“The State has not even dealt with its full involvement in this awful industry and the massive human rights abuses that came with it,” Ms Lohan said.
Ms Lohan said that “to this day” State agencies such as Tusla were still denying adopted people access to their own personal information, including their birth certificates.
She said they “offended adopted people and those born in mother-and-baby homes” by telling them they have to adjudicate the amount of harm acceding to such requests would cause to other individuals.
Ms Lohan accused Tusla of not being “fit for purpose”.