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    A study of the infrastructure and legislation for adoption in Ireland c.1911-1971

    Stewart, Colleen Mary (2013) A study of the infrastructure and legislation for adoption in Ireland c.1911-1971. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This thesis explores adoption in Ireland from 1911 through to 1971. Over this sixty year period a number of aspects to adoption in Ireland are examined. Before 1952 there was no formal legislation covering the practice of adoption in Ireland; adoptions were arranged on an informal or de facto basis. In this sense, adoption is charted throughout the thesis starting in 1911 and continuing through its legalisation in 1952 to 1971. The census of 1911 provides detailed information on the numbers of adopted children in Ireland. Up till 1922 adoption in Ireland is explored for the whole island. Before 1952 records and correspondence from organisations that arranged adoptions are used to create an understanding of informal adoption practices. The thesis also explores the demand for adoption legislation and examines in detail the activity of the groups and organisations involved, and their roles experienced in the introduction of an adoption law and their working relationships with the department of justice. The legislative position of adoption in Ireland compared to similar international legislative practice elsewhere is also addressed, as is relevant international legislation; Ireland introduced its first adoption law relatively late in comparison to other European countries. The thesis explores and compares Ireland‟s adoption legislation with international standards. After the introduction of the first adoption act there was government regulation of adoption practices. This regulation provided statistics on adoption and these statistics allow for an analysis of adoption trends after 1952. Throughout the thesis the political dimensions surrounding adoption are important and the relationship between church and lay authorities in the pursuance of adoption practice is explored. Within a few years of the first adoption act there was a demand for further adoption legislation, and queries in the department of justice about possible amendments. Issues associated with adoption continued to be a subject of media attention, and questions continued in Dáil Éireann over adoption procedures. A further adoption act was introduced in 1964, its introduction is also discussed in this thesis.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: infrastructure; legislation; adoption; Ireland; 1911-1971;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > History
    Item ID: 4876
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2014 10:01
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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