Absent(ed) mothers in Ireland and elsewhere: erasures of maternity in adoption law, policy, and literature

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

This chapter analyses the concept of maternal erasures in adoption law and policy, by firstly examining the way in which certain works of fiction have represented orphanisation and non-consensual infant relinquishments. It argues that Ireland’s Birth and Information Tracing Act (2022) - on the issue of maternal erasures - is a particularly relevant statute given that it excludes searching mothers from its apparently ‘open access’ remit. Likewise, it is not aimed at the easy achievement of familial reunions. Moreover, the Irish State’s long history of high-walled shaming and ill-treatment of unmarried mothers and their children offered a means of dealing with unwed motherhood and illegitimacy; it served as a model for many other jurisdictions (Canada, the US, Australia, and the U.K.). A brief look at maternal testimonies gleaned from Reports and Inquiries (e.g. on forced adoptions) held in Ireland, England and Northern Ireland is therefore also included here.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe missing mother
EditorsAndrea O'Reilly, Martina Mullaney
Place of PublicationToronto, Canada
PublisherDemeter Press
Pages1-32
ISBN (Print)9781772585087
Publication statusAccepted - 13 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Adoption
  • Law
  • Literature
  • Motherhood
  • Feminist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Absent(ed) mothers in Ireland and elsewhere: erasures of maternity in adoption law, policy, and literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this