Showing posts from 2015

Time To End The Culture Of Adoption Secrets

by Kathy McMahon,
Founder. Irish First Mothers group

My name is Kathy McMahon. I am an Irish ‘First Mother’.

My first child was born in April 1974 after I spent 4 months in the Good Shepard Convent in Dunboyne Co Meath. 

I was aged 18. 

I nursed my child for 7 days. But on the day I was discharged from hospital a nurse took my infant daughter without warning. I was later forced to sanction her adoption. I did not see my daughter for another 28 years. 

In early 2014 I founded Irish First Mothers - a peer-to-peer mutual support group for women who were coerced into yielding up their children for adoption. Our group has over such mothers - who range in age from early 40's through to mid 70's. 

Most of us were incarcerated in so-called ‘Mother and Baby Homes’. The vast majority were forced into adoption. We never asked for, nor were we offered personal confidentiality. Rather, we were told that if we ever attempted contact with our own children we would be committing an offence. 


Irish First Mothers Launch Funding Appeal

I had my beautiful baby stolen by forced adoption in Ireland. Please help me to aid other mothers who suffered the same fate: the tens of thousands of innocent girls who were incarcerated behind the high walls of often savage religious institutions. 

Nothing can ever undo the damage inflicted on women who suffered their baby in some cases being literally torn from their arms. Most carry the wounds of those experiences to this day - never having had the opportunity to speak of it. 

I found the strength to speak out, and so have other mothers in Irish First Mothers - a peer support and reform activism group which I founded in early 2014...... 
Read more:

My Story:

Adoption Information Is A Human Right


Adoption Heartache Was Worse Than Death


Let's Encourage - Not Hinder Adoption Reunions

by Kathy McMahon, Founder of Irish First Mothers group

I was astonished to read a paternalistic article in The Journal by an adopted man, Mr. Paul Redmond - who presumes to be an authority on what is best for us women who lost our children to adoption.

He wrote that that the Irish government's proposed new law on adoption tracing should offer mothers the "protection" of a veto to prevent our lost children from contacting us. He explains this and his troubled re-connection with his own natural mother by depicting us mothers as "elderly" and "living in fear".

I was subjected to forced adoption of my child, and I can assure you I am far from elderly or fearful. Neither are the more than 50-strong Irish First Mothers group, of which I am founder, so infirm of mind that we need Mr. Redmond to speak on our best interests.

In fact, our ages range from the early forties upwards. Our relative youth confounds the current stereotype. Forced adoptions were taking …

Adopting Couple's New Baby Delivered by Miracle Stork

by Fintan Dunne, 30 July, 2105

In a world-first, a Minnesota couple are now celebrating the arrival of a new-born baby girl --which came via a miraculous delivery by stork!

The couple, Sarah and David Olson already had two children - but had been battling a harrowing secret ordeal. They always knew they wanted three children, but they lacked that third infant which would make their family "complete".

The Olsens had been trying in vain to conceive for what must have seemed an interminable eight long months before eventually deciding to adopt while aboard Sarah's birthday gift flight to New York. 

That decision was partly inspired by Sarah's sister - who had already taken delivery of a child she had ordered online via in an inter-country adoption from China.

But Sarah and David could hardly believe what happened next. After months of waiting, one Tuesday their Christian adoption consultant phoned to advise …

Call For Empowerment Of Grassroots Adoption Groups

News Anchor Alison Comyn, Senator Averil Power and Kathy McMahon, founder of Irish First Mothers.
Ireland Live at 10 on Thursday 22 July, 2015with Alison Comyn. Discussing sketchy details of a proposed Adoption Information Bill.
Alison Comyn: "Kathy McMahon, you have some 
reservations [about the proposed Bill]. What are they?"

Kathy McMahon: "As far as we are concerned our children should be given rights of access to their birth information.

"One of the things that concerns me is the fact that adopted people are going to be asked to sign a guarantee that they won't harass or invade on their parents privacy. But, you know, to be an adopted person isn't a communicable disease.

"And us mothers don't need protection from our children. At the moment reunions are going on all the time - without any bureaucracy involved.

"So the existing groups that are working on the issue, like Irish First Mothers and the Adoption Rights Alliance should be funded and empow…

Irish Times Spot The Single Mother Competition

It was Ronald Reagan who in 1976 infamously seeded the racist "Welfare Queen" stereotype.

The prime right-wing target for attack soon settled firmly on African-American mothers. 

But the pejorative term went on to power a plethora of conservative witch-hunts against female recipients of State supports.

These ongoing multi-decadal campaigns have so loaded the cultural landscape of US and EU tabloid political 'discourse' that the mere depiction of a single mother has been affected. 

The modern and safe alternative is to latch on to the welcome gender neutrality of the term "Single Parent" - which facilitates an easy and politically correct alternative image.

You see, the solo male parent is the ultimate escape clause. Males who parent are virtually hereos!

Which makes for much safer ground than the female mother with her associated "lazy, cheating slut" connotation.

Yesterday, Irish Times columnist Fintan O'Toole penned a strong defense of single paren…

June '15 Protest - NO TO CHILD POVERTY - Interview

The current reform of the One Parent Family Payment means
even greater poverty for Ireland’s most vulnerable parents and children.

Ruth Cullen of Single Parents Acting for the Rights of our Kids speaks 

to Fintan Dunne about the reasons behind today's Dail Gates protest.

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Irish State Covered-Up 2012 Tuam Baby Deaths Report

A damning Irish health services review of infant deaths and other anomalies, in Bessborough and Tuam mother and baby homes took place in 2012. But the report was not disclosed by the government during civil consultations on the terms of its official inquiry - now underway into the homes.

The Irish Examiner newspaper revealed today that the 2012 report confirmed the scale of the deaths and anomalies which would later achieve such prominence. So troubled were the authors, says the paper, that they urged the State to immediately establish an official judicial inquiry based on its findings. Nothing happened.

Two years later, a fortunate international media spotlight on claims that around 800 infants were interred in Tuam, prompted the government to established an inter-departmental committee to coordinate its response. But the committee was blind to the previous investigation under the Dept. of Justice, even as it set up a "new" inquiry guided by the Dept. Children & Youth Aff…

Ireland 2015 : Gay Pride and Mother Shame

It's great to see so many joyful people celebrating the Irish 'Yes' vote for marriage equality.

My vote was a yes. I am a "live and let live" person. I hope and desire that all who have suffered prejudice, shame or isolation because of their sexual orientation can now find peace and happiness in their own country. 

Congratulations Ireland. By this decision we have shown acceptance of at least one of our 'demonized' groups. But many are still on the margins.

Most women, who like myself, lost a child through forced adoption, voted Yes in this referendum. I speak daily with such women. They were incarcerated in Mother and Baby homes; were deemed "offenders"; were shuttered and railroaded by an unholy alliance of state, church, and Irish families. They know how a gay social scapegoat must feel.

Almost all had their infants taken from them through forced adoption. Many are still marginalized to this day and live lives blighted by an unspoken stigma and r…

Exposing Ireland's Forced Adoption Cover-Up

Mari Steed, Claire McGettrick, Susan Lohan and Kathy McMahon join Fintan Dunne in the aftermath of the Irish Government's recent announcement of its Mother And Baby Inquiry terms of reference.

Adoption Reconnection, Heartbreaks and Joys

LISTENmp3:Lorraine Dusky - Kathy McMahon
Lorraine Dusky, USA and Kathy McMahon, Ireland
speak with Fintan Dunne about the heartbreaks
and joys of adoption and reconnection.

First Mothers Forum - Lorraine
Irish First Mothers Group - Kathy

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