Credit: Irish Central

Irish Times: ‘Illegal adoptions pose complications in searches for birth parents’

Paula Douglas has known she was adopted from as early as she can remember. Her Irish mother Lil Holmes told her when she was four.

Yet, she remained puzzled. According to her birth certificate, her adoptive parents, Ronn and Lil Holmes, were her natural parents. When she was growing up she celebrated her birthday on April 9th, the day her parents “adopted” her, but her date of birth was April 2nd, 1959.

Thousands of Irish children were adopted in the United States. The film Philomena was based on the true story of Philomena Lee and her search for her son Michael Hess, who became White House counsel to US Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W Bush.

Mrs Douglas’s story is different in that there was never any evidence that an adoption took place. Her cousin had been adopted from St Patrick’s Guild. She contacted the guild to be told they had nothing in their files suggesting she was either born there or had been adopted from it.

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