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Philomena Lee to tell world conference about her forced adoption in Ireland

A major international conference in Cork today will hear from a number of speakers about adoption law.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

IRISH WOMAN PHILOMENA LEE will today give a key-note speech at a major international conference on adoption law in Cork.

The woman’s story of forced adoption inspired the Oscar-nominated film Philomenia. Lee is a former resident of a mother-and-baby home where her baby boy was taken from her and adopted by an American couple.

The boy, then known as Anthony, became Michael Hess, senior counsel under the  Reagan and Bush administrations. He had died of AIDS in 1995, before his biological mother could find him.

However it emerged that he had travelled to Ireland a number of times trying to find her and had hit a brick wall with the sisters at the home, as had Lee when she tried to get information from them.

The two day conference at University College Cork (UCC) today is entitled ‘Redefining adoption in a new era: Opportunities and challenges for law and practice’ and will hear from intenational speakers from a number of different disciplines.

For her part, Lee will share her experience of forced adoption, appearing alongside her daughter Jane Libberton.

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The conference today will also focus on ongoing reform to abortion law and the debate around children’s rights.

Read: Philomena Lee to speak about her experience of forced adoption in Ireland>

Read: ‘A truly remarkable woman’: Philomena a ‘catalyst’ for increase in adoption queries>

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