Irish nuns who sent and essentially sold orphans to America during the fifties and sixties benefited by up to $50 million in today’s money, a new investigative report and book has claimed.
The report published in The Sunday Business Post also stated that many of the parents chosen had been turned down by other adoption agents, and some children were sent directly to pedophiles.
The shocking new investigation was carried out by Mike Milotte, who has published his finding in a new book entitled Banished Babies.
Milotte also reported that over 2,000 babies born to unwed mothers were “exported to America in a highly-secretive adoption scheme.”
Milotte is calling for a major investigation by the Irish Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, who went on the record calling for such an inquiry in 1996 as an opposition spokesman when first reports leaked out.
Milotte highlights the case of Mary Monaghan, adopted from Sacred Heart Convent in Westmeath by Bill O’Brien, a brutal pedophile who began abusing her from the age of two.
The organization responsible for the adoption, Catholic Charities of California, had never even interviewed O’Brien or combed over his past.
On the Irish end Archbishop John McQuaid of Dublin, who oversaw the adoptions, insisted only that the adoptive parents be Catholic and that the Catholic Charities organizations across America take charge of the adoption details.
All O’Brien had to do was give proof he was a Catholic in good standing and that he didn’t use birth control.
Irish politician Dr. Noel Browne tried to stop the adoption process when he was minister for health, stating that adoption passports were being given to “persons turned down as adopters in their own country.”
After, Browne stated that an investigative report by the St. Louis Globe newspaper revealed that many parents who adopted Irish children had been turned down by American agencies.
However, Archbishop McQuaid refused to radically change any of the procedures.
Problems escalated when a Monsignor John O’Grady of Catholic Charities in New York wrote that he was “more and more convinced that many of the homes in which children were placed are undesirable.”
O’Grady also revealed that there was a “commercial operator” involved who “had made money from these operations.”
However, the Irish state, cowed by the power of McQuaid did very little to change the regulations according to Milotte.
A senior official in the Department of External Affairs, Joe Walsh wrote, “One always has the horrible fact that some of the proposed adopters may wish to get their hands on a child by making money by selling it to another couple anxious to adopt a child.”
Despite the fact that the law stated that formal consent of a parent had to be given, in many cases that consent signature was forged Milotte says.
The unwed mothers were never told where the babies ended up. A major source of income for the nuns were the “expenses” needed to deliver the baby to the new adoptee, equivalent to about $4,500 per baby in today’s money.
The mail order babies deeply corrupted the system.
“The mail order baby business has already produced many tragic consequences, including the death, beating and abandonment of children,” a 1958 U.S. study found.
Yet it now transpires very little was done to stop it.