Aitheantas dedicates this report to all affected by the legacy of forced and coercive adoption in Ireland, particularly the Adoptees, the Children of Adoptees and Spouses/Partners of Adoptees who shared their stories and experiences with us.   

We gratefully acknowledge the support of Uplift and their members, especially with our historic #RepealtheSeal campaign, but also with our #PasstheBill and #SupportOurSurvivors campaigns, as well as their advice, assistance in hosting our survey and support in compiling  this report, in particular the ever patient Siobhan O’Donoghue, Emily Duffy and Michelle Byrne.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

Thanks to Colette Kelleher, a trailblazer and a dedicated campaigner for social justice and equality in the Seanad and beyond.  We are honoured to have Colette write the Foreword to our report.  

Sincere thanks to Rody O’Brien BL who co-authored this report,  to Dr. Ian Marder, Maynooth University for his time and much valued contribution to this report on Restorative Justice. and Dr. Cheryl Lawther, Queens University, Belfast for her time in reviewing this report. 

We would also like to thank the Alice PR team, Martina Quinn, Emily Brennan, Sorcha MacMahon and Niamh Breathnach who have truly gone above and beyond in supporting us. 

Thanks to Maureen Considine for her input and feedback and to Evie Nevin, Ailís Ní Chofaigh, Clare Lanigan and Tim Quinlan for their assistance with layout and design. 

Thanks and gratitude to the Aitheantas members who assisted with our Council motions, to Patrick for his amazing backup -we could not have done this without you – and to William, Cate, Esme and Kate M. for their support with our #RepealtheSeal campaign. 

As this report details, Adoptees and their families still live with the hidden legacy of forced and coercive adoption, a legacy that is part of our collective history.  We need to face the depth and breadth of this history, acknowledge the social harm it has caused with courage and repair the harm these failed policies have caused.

Aitheantas means Identity and we hope, with the publication of this report, that Adoptees in Ireland are a step closer to securing all aspects of theirs.

Maree Ryan-O’Brien
Aitheantas – Adoptee Identity Rights

July 2021

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