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Give adopted people their records, says the real Philomena

Philomena Lee is in Dublin today urging the Irish government to release adoption records.

Image: Chase Rollins via Press Association Images

PHILOMENA LEE IS calling on the Irish State to give adopted people and their families access to adoption records.

There are more than 60,000 “adoption” files held by the HSE, private adoption agencies and church representatives spanning several decades. In many cases, the adoptions were not official and were carried out without the full knowledge of the biological mothers involved.

Lee has established The Philomena Project in association with the Adoption Rights Alliance, calling on the government to lead the way and enact legislation to allow the release of these documents.

The Oscar-nominated film Philomena shows Lee’s 50-year search for her son, who was sold for adoption and sent to America when Philomena was in a Mother and Baby Home in Roscrea, Tipperary, after she became pregnant as a teenager.

Speaking about The Philomena Project, Philomena Lee said:

I’ve been so moved by the support we’ve received, both for telling our story and for bringing attention to this experience that so many of us had. My daughter Jane and I established The Philomena Project because we’ve heard from so people who saw my story and want to help.

It is my hope that this effort will help us find solutions that ensure every mother and child who want to be reunited are able to come together once again.”

Journalist Martin Sixsmith, author of The Lost Child of Philomena Lee will also be at the launch of The Philomena Project in Dublin today.

Sixsmith said that when writing the book he was struck by “the scale of the problem, with tens of thousands of babies being taken from their mothers by a church that regarded them as fallen women.”

Adoption Explainer: What’s the first step to take if you want to trace your parents>

Calls for independent investigation into Ireland’s illegal adoptions>

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