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Number of children sent overseas for adoptions even higher than previously thought

Sat, 08 May, 2021 - 06:30
Conall Ó Fátharta

Hundreds of additional children may have been sent overseas for adoption than originally thought.  Evidence that at least 356 previously unknown Irish children were sent to Northern Ireland, Great Britain and a range of other countries for adoption was given to the Department of Health over 20 years ago but never made public.  Up until now, the State has only ever acknowledged that 2,132 children were sent abroad to be adopted between the late 1940s and the early 1970s and all but 51 to the USA.  The original figures were published in the seminal book, Banished Babies in 1997 by journalist Mike Milotte and were based on Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) passport data compiled after a large archive of records detailing the adoption of children to the USA was discovered in the National Archives in 1996.  However, explosive new evidence discovered in Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) records reveals that at least 356 additional children were sent to a minimum of 13 countries between 1921 and 1994.  This information has been with the Department of Health for over two decades.  It reveals that when the 'Banished Babies' scandal broke in 1996, the Department of Health privately asked the AAI’s predecessor the Adoption Board to audit all registered adoption societies to ascertain the scale of the practice.  The audit revealed that 14 of the 15 adoption societies that responded sent at least 1,343 children to some 17 countries between 1921 and 1994.  While the overall figure was much lower than the Department of Foreign Affairs data, the audit revealed eight agencies had sent 384 children to countries outside of the USA. These had never before been accounted for.  At least 256 of these children were sent to Northern Ireland, 64 to England, 23 to Scotland and 16 to Wales. The only placements outside of the State between 1970 and 1994 were to Northern Ireland. Only 18 of these children show up on the DFA data as passports were not required for children travelling to Great Britain or Northern Ireland.  A further 12 children were sent to seven other countries Belgium, Channel Islands, Netherlands, North Rhodesia (now Zambia), Norway, Serbia and Singapore.  None of these countries are referenced in the DFA data despite the fact that all of these children would have required passports to legally leave the country.  In total, the Adoption Board data shows that at least 356 previously unknown children were sent out of the State to be adopted. While the vast majority went to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, children were also sent to at least seven other countries to be adopted.  In a series of responses issued to the Irish Examiner, the AAI declined to express confidence that all of the children were removed by legal means stating that it “does not have sufficient information on each child to comment on this”.

It declined to name the 14 adoption agencies that provided the data in 1996 citing data protection concerns but confirmed that both Catholic and Protestant agencies are involved.  The AAI also confirmed that the then Adoption Board furnished all this evidence to the Department of Health in 1996 and that it received no response nor was it instructed to make any further investigation into the matter.  The AAI notified the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of the new data in May 2019. However, it is not cited in the Commission’s final report, nor is the AAI cited as a source of information for its section on ‘Foreign Adoptions’ in chapter 32 of the report.  In response, the Department of Children stated that the AAI informed it that the data was “in the public domain at the time [1996]" and that the then Adoption board issued a press release on the issue on March 5, 1996.  However, the data was never placed into the public domain. It was also not detailed in the 1996 press release as this was issued by the Adoption Board prior to the audit having commenced.

France threatens to turn Jersey's electricity off over Brexit fishing rights

The Channel Island accused Paris of making "disproportionate" threats against them, after being warned France was ready to take "retaliatory measures"

By Mikey Smith Political Correspondent

09:39, 5 MAY 2021Updated10:21, 5 MAY 2021

France has threatened to turn Jersey's electricity off in a row over Brexit fishing rights.  The Channel Island accused Paris of making "disproportionate" threats against them, after being warned France was ready to take "retaliatory measures."

Jersey has accused France of making "disproportionate" threats after Paris warned it could cut off electricity to the island in a row over post-Brexit fishing rights.  French maritime minister Annick Girardin made the threat after accusing the Channel Island of dragging its feet over issuing new licences to French boats.  But Jersey's External Relations Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, insisted that there was no justification for such severe measures.  The row came after the island implemented new requirements under the terms of the UK-EU trade deal for boats to submit evidence of their past fishing activities in order to receive a licence to carry on operating in Jersey waters.  Mr Gorst told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "This is not the first threat that the French have made to either Jersey or the United Kingdom since we are into this new deal.  It would seem disproportionate to cut off electricity for the sake of needing to provide extra details so that we can refine the licences."

Jersey receives 95% of its electricity from France through three undersea cables.  Ms Girardin told the French parliament that it gave Paris the "means" to act against the island if the issue could not be resolved.  "Even though I am sorry that it has come to this, we will do so if we have to," she said.

Mr Gorst however said the island was not seeking to bar boats which had historically fished in Jersey waters and insisted the dispute could be resolved amicably.  He said that of the 41 boats which sought licences under the new rules last Friday, all but 17 had provided the evidence required.  "The trade deal is clear but I think there has been some confusion about how it needs to be implemented because we absolutely respect the historic rights of French fishermen to fish in Jersey waters as they have been doing for centuries," he said.

"I do think a solution can be found. I am optimistic that we can provide extra time to allow this evidence to be provided."

He said the Jersey government was now seeking permission from London and Brussels to speak directly with the French fishermen concerned to resolve the issue.
Fun, Games and Silliness / Re: Movies and Actors
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The Hitman's Bodyguard
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By Dave Tippett
10. Gigantic, super-loud fireworks explosions signal resurrection of Prince of Peace.
9. The guy who lost his ear to Peter sells it on eBay.
8. Angels swing from piano wire and, for the most part, make it down to the Tomb.
7. Guys in metal skirts hurt, too: The Roman's Story.
6. Our elderly and near-sighted ushers will wash your feet throughout the first act.
5. It's the Jets (disciples) vs. the Sharks (Pharisees) in "West Bank Story"!!
4. Last Supper Dinner Theater.
3. Stone rolled away and down the church aisle.
2. Orange construction barrels impede triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
1. Aslan the Lion eats evil temple merchants.
General Support / This Is What No One Tells You About Adoption
« Last post by Auntie Cee on April 29, 2021, 11:16:50 AM »

This Is What No One Tells You About Adoption

“We have been trained to see adoption as a fairy-tale ending to a tragic story.”

By Andrea Ross

I was adopted at three weeks of age and grew up in a loving family. My parents told me from the very beginning I was adopted, but I had no access to information about my origins because closed adoption was the norm in the United States well into the 1970s.  Back then, most birth parents signed away their rights to contact their child (often unwillingly), and the child’s original birth certificate was amended, with the adoptive parents’ names replacing the birth parents’. As a baby, my origins were literally erased.  My adoptive parents pursued adoption because they wanted a family and were unable to conceive. They explained to me that my birth mother was a teen when I was born and that in the 1960s unwed mothers had few good choices. They were compassionate about my birth mother’s situation and her decision to place me with adoptive parents.  Yet much of society gives adopted people subtle and not-so-subtle messages that we have been saved from a terrible fate, and that we should feel lucky to have been “rescued.”  Perhaps it’s easier for people to understand adoption if they vilify the birth mother; after all, only a “bad woman” would “give away” her child. This judgment applies the myth of the birth mother as a promiscuous, irresponsible, drug-addicted or generally bad person. Of course that’s not true; the reasons for relinquishing a child are many and nuanced. But for decades, the dominant paradigm has been that women who up and get pregnant without meaning to are seriously flawed.  The sexism of such thinking notwithstanding, it also implies that the resultant child of an unwed, unwanted, or unplanned pregnancy must also be damaged and in need of rescuing. And therefore, that child is oh so lucky to be adopted by caring, kind, financially solvent people.  When the adopted child is of a different race than the adoptive parents, the bigotry can be exponentially worse. I have friends who were adopted transracially or transnationally: Not only were these kids removed from their racial and/or cultural origins, but few of their adoptive parents knew the importance of giving their kids opportunities to reconnect with their heritage. These adopted kids grew up confused, angry and lonely. They grew up hearing things such as, “I’m sure you have a better life than you would have if your birth mom had kept you.”

The racism of this message would be harmful to anyone on its receiving end, but it is devastating to someone who has lost not only their birth parents but their connection to their culture and ethnicity to adoption. For transracial adoptees, this is part of their adoption trauma, as well as having to process racism and racial differences without the support of people of their own race.  Adoption is a permanent fixture in human society; there will always be a need for it. I’m not anti-adoption, but I’m exasperated with how the media often glosses over, exploits or simplifies adoption’s complexities for popular consumption.  In her book “American Baby: A Mother, A Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption” (Viking, 2021), veteran journalist Gabrielle Glaser works doggedly to expose truths about adoption, including the fact that adopted people often experience lifelong effects of the trauma caused by being removed from their original family, and that our society mostly ignores or denies such trauma.  As adoption researcher and psychologist Nancy Verrier explains in her book “The Primal Wound,” “Many doctors and psychologists now understand that bonding doesn’t begin at birth, but is a continuum of physiological, psychological and spiritual events that begin in utero and continue throughout the postnatal bonding period. When this natural evolution is interrupted by a postnatal separation from the biological mother, the resultant experience of abandonment and loss is indelibly imprinted upon the unconscious minds of these children.”

How does that trauma show up in adoptees? We may have problems with intimacy and attachment; we may experience loss in a much different way than non-adopted people; we may feel and express anger in ways that seem outsized or unfounded. We fear abandonment. We are afraid if we do the wrong thing we’ll be given away, left behind or excluded. We are afraid we’re inherently flawed and therefore expendable.  To my knowledge, my parents didn’t read any of the research about the psyches of adopted children or adult adoptees. Like most people involved with closed adoptions in the 1960s, they were ignorant about the psychological trauma babies experience when separated from their mothers, how those babies might grow into children who felt they didn’t belong, that they had been abandoned, that there was something intrinsically wrong with them.  Do I blame my parents for not knowing, not reading these things?

Not really. Doing so wasn’t part of adoption protocol at the time. Unfortunately, it still isn’t. And that must change.  In my mid-30s, after a circuitous, decade-long search, I reunited with my birth families. Only after meeting them and giving birth to my own child did I begin to understand my loneliness was a side effect of my closed adoption something for which I never had context until I experienced the momentous events of adoption reunion and motherhood.  When a traumatized person struggling with issues of abandonment is told they are lucky, that they should be grateful, or that they were “chosen,” it negates the emotional experience of that person. When it happens to me, it makes me feel as though my feelings and thoughts and experiences don’t matter.  I tried to explain that loneliness to friends, some of whom brushed me off. “Everyone’s lonely,” they said. “You’re no different.”

But I am different adopted people are different. And we deserve our individual and collective truths to be heard, believed and respected.  What we don’t need is myths of rescue, of salvation, of being less-than, of requisite gratitude for the fact of our adoption.  In this country, we have been trained to see adoption as a fairy-tale ending to a tragic story, one that elides the birth mother’s complex feelings about relinquishing a child and the adopted child’s complex feelings of loss and abandonment.  Few things in this world are truly binary. Adoption is not an “either/or” situation. Like every other institution, it has flaws and strengths. It’s time to think of adoption in terms of “both/and,” to hold its opposing truths as equal and valid.  We must train skeptical eyes on the myths of adoption, work to debunk them, and start paying attention to the real struggles adopted people experience. For the benefit of all involved, we must shine light on adoption’s shame, secrecy, fear of abandonment, trauma, and loneliness, and work to heal these things.

I am Bee Gee Maurice Gibbs' secret love child and I want DNA test to prove it

Nick Endacott wants the late singer’s brother and bandmate Barry to help confirm he is related after facial recognition tests said there is high probability they are related

By Patrick Hill

22:58, 6 MAY 2017Updated23:11, 6 MAY 2017

A musician is begging for a DNA test after being told he is the ­secret lovechild of Bee Gee Maurice Gibb.  Nick Endacott wants the late singer’s brother and bandmate Barry to help confirm he is related.  Nick, 49, says his aunt gave him the bombshell claim that he is part of one of Britain’s most famous musical family.  He was adopted as a baby after being given away by his mum Patti Nolder, who mixed with the big names of pop in London in the Swinging Sixties, Sunday People reports.  Nick, who bears an astonishing ­resemblance to Maurice, has undergone facial recognition tests which strongly suggest he is related to the Bee Gee.  He also looks like the singer’s son Adam, 41.  Nick claims that Maurice’s widow Yvonne initially indicated she would be happy for a DNA test but later withdrew permission.  Speaking exclusively to the Sunday People, Nick said: “My aunt told me that Patti had told her Maurice Gibb was my biological father.  I was gobsmacked"

Nick, a musician who been composing songs since he was 12, has written three letters to Maurice’s brother Barry, 70, begging for help.  And three separate facial recognition tests conclude there is a high probability he is related to Maurice including one which found there is total match ­percentage of 95.2.  As well as wanting to know his ­father’s identity, Nick is also ­concerned for his health.ed. It was the last thing I expected.  “I just want to know the truth and who I am. I know people will think I’m doing this for money or some claim of the Gibb estate, but I’m not.  It isn’t about that. I just want to know who my dad is. I have a right to know.”

Maurice died aged 53 from ­complications arising from a twisted intestine in 2003.  His twin Robin had a similar condition and died in 2012 from liver and kidney ­failure after fighting cancer.  Nick said: ‘This is a plea to the family. If the condition is genetic and I’m his son then I could be at risk.”

Nick, born Aaron Conway, was given up at birth by Patti in April 1968 and placed in a children’s home in Woolwich, South London.  He was adopted aged 18 months and ­renamed Nick James Endacott by his new mother, a company secretary, and dad, a quantity surveyor in East Sussex.  “I had an idyllic upbringing,” Nick said. “I don’t remember actually being told I was adopted, but I always knew. It was never a secret.”

In his early 30s Nick decided to track down his biological mum. He placed an advert on the Missing You website which Patti replied to.  The pair were reunited in a hotel in London in 2003 shortly before Patti ­relocated to Spain’s Costa del Sol.  Nick said: “It was very surreal and a very strange experience to meet her.  It gave me a bit of identity I never had and gave me some answers. I had always been musical all my life and here she was telling me she had worked in the music industry and had known and worked with all these famous names.  The list was endless. It was a lot to take in. It blew my mind really.  She was desperate to know if I hated her for giving me up. The meeting was dominated by that.”

Patti worked as a music studio manager at one time with Beatles producer George Martin. She was also best friends with Elton John’s first wife Renate Blaueleven and was a guest at their wedding in 1984.  At the height of the Swinging Sixties she worked in the bar and restaurant at the legendary Speakeasy club in London’s Soho.  The venue was a late-night haunt of the music industry, with Jimi Hendrix and Marc Bolan as regulars.  At that time the Bee Gees, who had ­returned from a nine-year spell in Australia after spending their childhood in Manchester, were beginning to break into the UK and US charts.  They went on to be one of the top five acts of all time worldwide, with No1 hits in four consecutive decades including Night Fever, Stayin’ Alive and More Than a Woman.  Patti initially told Nick his father was Chris Andrews, frontman of Sixties cult rock band Fleur de Lys.  Nick said: “I tracked Chris down, we met and got on well. But I didn’t look anything like him. I asked him to have a DNA test, which he agreed to, and in April 2009 it came back ­negative. Sadly he wasn’t my dad.”

He says after it was proved Chris was NOT his father, Patti made it clear she no longer wanted to help him find his biological dad’s real identity.  He then turned to Patti’s sister Alison, who lives in Scotland.  Nick said: “Alison told me that Patti had told her Maurice Gibb was in fact my biological father. But she said Patti should tell me herself.  Alison then called Patti and they had a furious row. Since then, Patti’s become distant from me.”

Nick says Patti later sent a furious email to her sister telling her that she had confided in her about her sexual relationship with Maurice and she shouldn’t have told Nick anything.  Nick claims Patti had also previously told him she did sleep with Maurice, whose first wife was pop star Lulu. He added: “The man my mother said was my father, Chris Andrews, isn’t. My mother won’t tell me who is but her sister told me Maurice Gibb was.  I’ve researched a lot and it all adds up. I’m 99 per cent sure Maurice Gibb is my dad but I need a DNA test to tell me 100 per cent in black and white.  I feel that knowing where I came from will make me whole.  I also want to know so that I can be sure of my medical history. I’ll be 50 next year and this is a crucial stage in my life, health-wise. I want to know if I need to worry.”

Nick, who lives in a Victorian terrace home in Hove, East Sussex, with his long-term partner Jacqui, talked of his physical similarities to Maurice.  He said: “I was goofy when I was young and have a pronounced chin.  We’ve both got the same shaped forehead and deep set eyes. I’m also very musical.  I have been singing since I was six. It hasn’t come from my adopted family because they weren’t musical at all.”

The facial recognition tests Nick had compare related characteristics and they gave a positive result.  The test compares the structure of the eyes, chin, forehead, jaw edge, lips and eyebrow patterns and measures exact distances between the nose, mouth and eyes.  A source close to the Gibb family said they were aware of Nick’s claims but did not believe they would change their mind about the DNA test.  Speaking from her home in Spain, Patti Nolder refused to comment before adding: “It’s all lies.”

Maurice, who married Yvonne in 1975, left his widow and their two ­children a huge estate with six homes around the world and all ownership to copyrights and musical compositions.  But Nick says: “I’m not interested in money and as I was legally adopted I would have no claim. I just want to find out who my real dad is.”

Piers Morgan suggests Prince Harry is unhappy being married to 'self-serving social climber' Meghan Markle

BY: Harry Brent
March 31, 2021

PIERS MORGAN has questioned whether Prince Harry is happy in his marriage to Meghan Markle as he takes yet more swipes at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  The TV presenter, who quit his role at Good Morning Britain after refusing to apologise for comments he made about Markle in the aftermath of her and her husband's explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this month, continued to stoke the flames of his feud with the couple while writing for the Daily Mail.  Morgan was highly critical of both Meghan and Harry for smearing the Royal Family with unsubstantiated accusations of racism, bullying and cruelty, during what must have been a particularly difficult time for the Queen with her husband in hospital.  "I expected such disingenuous self-serving wrecking-ball stuff from a social-climbing Hollywood actress like Ms Markle," Morgan wrote, "but for Harry to publicly shred his family and the Monarchy like this, while Prince Philip was seriously ill in hospital, is so out of character for a man who once bravely served his Queen and country in war.  He can't be happy doing this, surely?"

Piers also insisted that he isn't a racist, not are those who defend him, like his friend Sharon Osbourne who like Morgan was forced to quit a TV presenter role because of comments she made about the situation.  "It appears that questioning Meghan's fork-tongued 'truth' is now a racist hate-crime," he added.

Osbourne, who defended Morgan on US chat show The Talk, asked her co-presenter Sheryl Underwood for proof of where Piers had said anything even remotely racist, but didn't get a straight answer.  "I don't understand," said a bemused Osbourne. "If Piers doesn't like someone, and they happen to be black, does that make him a racist?"

"No," said Underwood.

"Right, so why can't it be he just doesn't like her? Why does it have to be racist?"
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