Recommended Reading – Banished Babies: The Secret History of Ireland’s Baby Export Business (Updated and Expanded Edition)

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Mike Milotte’s damning expose – of Church-State collusion in banishing thousands of vulnerable ‘illegitimate’ children from Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s – was first published to critical acclaim in 1997, and quickly achieved iconic status. It is a story of baby trafficking – organized by nuns, sanctioned by an archbishop, administered by civil servants, and approved by politicians who tried to keep it secret. For this new, updated, and expanded edition, Milotte has added previously untold personal stories from some of the ‘banished babies’ he met in the intervening period – stories that further illuminate the murky shadows of this official, but long-concealed, child-export business. Most of the banished babies ended up in adoptions in the US, and this Ireland-to-US adoption practice is revealed here. Delving deep into official archives and drawing on the papers of Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, the book reveals how, yet again, both Church and State placed the avoidance of scandal above the welfare of innocent and vulnerable children. It examines the Irish State’s failure to fulfill promises – made in the wake of the book’s first appearance – to adequately facilitate search and reunion among the ‘banished babies’ and their natural parents.

[ccw-atrib-link]


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Thomas M. Murphy

Great Book – Wish I had found it earlier Mr. Milotte’s book is a great snapshot of the horrible history of the selling of Irish babies in the 50’s and 60’s. As a person who was adopted from Ireland during this time, I was glad to better understand some of the social causes and government/church malfeasance that allowed such practices. Although I was lucky in that my adopted parents, now deceased, were good parents and tried their best, Milotte shows that this wasn’t always the case and the auditing of prospective parents was more…