More than 9,000 children died in Ireland’s mother and baby homes, according to the final report of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation published Tuesday by the Republic of Ireland’s Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration & Youth.
The Commission, which was created in February 2015, was established by the Irish Government to produce a full account of what happened to vulnerable women and children in mother and baby homes during the period from 1922 to 1998. Throughout the twentieth century, these institutions housed unmarried women, with many children born in the homes being adopted or taken to orphanages. The report notes that the women who turned to such homes did so because “they failed to secure the support of their family and the father of their child.”
The report considers a range of issues, including human rights abuses and the mortality rates of children in homes. The Commission made a range of recommendations, including redress for former residents and the creation of a central repository of the records of institutions and adoption societies.
In response to the report, the Irish government intends to develop a government action plan centring on eight themes: a survivor centred approach, apology, access to personal information, archiving and databases, education and research, memorialisation, restorative recognition and dignified burial.