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03-07-2019, 11:46   #166
pedroeibar1
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Yes, there were certainly practical considerations to the noting down of who was in and who was out, so to speak, but the outright hostility towards those who didn't conform always struck me as bizarre given their supposed Christian values. And sadly the legacy of that hostility persists today as those of us who are adopted can attest to.
That hostilityis more or less gone IMO, but it remains with a few – particularly some RCC clergy - whose training and celibate thinking has not caught up with the times. That attitude / their power clearly influenced lawmakers until relatively recent times, because the legal changes on the position of ‘natural children’ are comparatively new. The Family Home Succession Act in 1965 was a lever and the Status of Children Act which was introduced in 1987 brought it further up to date, as it abolished the concept of illegitimacy.
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03-07-2019, 13:11   #167
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The hostility may be more or less gone but it still casts a long shadow.

I still can't be told officially who my birth mother is despite having met her, attended her funeral [at the invite of her family], and having established good relationships with said family.
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03-07-2019, 13:23   #168
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It doesn't seem to be unique to Ireland though. I've been in touch with an adopted woman born in America. She's in her 90s and can't get access to her birth certificate. The Catholic Charities could only give her clues such as her first name at birth, that her surname was Irish but didn't sound Irish and was in the first half of the alphabet and a story giving the reason why she was adopted. She has actually campaigned to allowed adoptees access to their original birth certificates. With the help of her niece and DNA, she recently found out who her mother was and the clues provided mostly aligned except that the mother may have altered some facts when she was given up for adoption.
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03-07-2019, 21:22   #169
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Oh, no argument about that. One of the reasons the baptismal register is supposed to note illegitimacy is that there was entrenched discrimination against illegitimate children. We know, of course, about their exclusion from inheritance, and the fact that (at this time) they had no right to maintenance from their fathers. But under church law they were also barred from being ordained as priests.
The prejudice in the church reflected that in the community, time and place.

The ban on those born out of wedlock being ordained, was like most things in the RC church, potentially waived by dispensation. Thus it effectively applied to the poor. Wealthy families could afford the "offering" to cover the dispensation.

As for the noting of illegitimacy in baptismal registers, it is notable that some parish priests recorded lots of that status, while others did not. I suspect that many priests did not record this status except on rare occasions.
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04-07-2019, 00:54   #170
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The prejudice in the church reflected that in the community, time and place. The ban on those born out of wedlock being ordained, was like most things in the RC church, potentially waived by dispensation. Thus it effectively applied to the poor. Wealthy families could afford the "offering" to cover the dispensation. .
While it is true that dispensations could be sought and / or bought, the argument does not hold much water – apart from the era of the Maynooth Grant it was only the sons of the wealthy who could afford to become priests. That big farmer/merchant class background had a big influence on the Church and on Irish history post 1829.

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As for the noting of illegitimacy in baptismal registers, it is notable that some parish priests recorded lots of that status, while others did not. I suspect that many priests did not record this status except on rare occasions.
I’m unsure that reflects actuality. Priests had a job/instructions, most just politely complied, a few zealots would write ‘bastard’. Remember in the same era that peoples’ names/contributions also were read out publicly at mass to ensure better collections. There always is a sprinkling of illegitimate births in every register but in some there is a higher frequency – closer examination will inevitably show that the parish contained a workhouse, which served as a maternity unit for many, particularly those who did not have family support. In some cases the child is given the mother’s name and there is a dash for the father, in some others the word ‘illig’ appears. Not much difference in message there. Also remember that after 1864 the Civil entries carried the same terminology and requirements.
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04-07-2019, 15:46   #171
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There always is a sprinkling of illegitimate births in every register but in some there is a higher frequency – closer examination will inevitably show that the parish contained a workhouse, which served as a maternity unit for many,
That only applies post 1840.
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04-07-2019, 18:12   #172
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the Status of Children Act which was introduced in 1987 brought it further up to date, as it abolished the concept of illegitimacy.
The abolition of the concept of illegitimacy does not necessarily mean that the illegitimate are better protected legally. For example, under the Equal Status Act it is illegal to discriminate against unmarried mothers. But it is not illegal to discriminate against illegitimate children!
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04-07-2019, 18:43   #173
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The abolition of the concept of illegitimacy does not necessarily mean that the illegitimate are better protected legally. For example, under the Equal Status Act it is illegal to discriminate against unmarried mothers. But it is not illegal to discriminate against illegitimate children!
If the concept of illegitimacy has been abolished, would it be possible for the Equal Status Act to mention it?
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05-07-2019, 00:30   #174
pedroeibar1
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The abolition of the concept of illegitimacy does not necessarily mean that the illegitimate are better protected legally. For example, under the Equal Status Act it is illegal to discriminate against unmarried mothers. But it is not illegal to discriminate against illegitimate children!
Yes it is. 'Discriminate' is an emotive word. Both marital and non-marital children have equal rights of inheritance from their parents. The only caveat is that children from outside a marriage might have to prove paternity, but only if it is disputed. That is easily done today with DNA. There are arguments that can be put forward if there is or is not a valid will, but the end result is a question of the percentage of inheritance; there also is redress through the Courts. Same as for siblings falling out over who gets what.
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06-07-2019, 22:04   #175
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Pedro - thanks for your reply. No doubt you are correct about inheritance law, but my point was on a totally different topic, i.e. Equal Status Act.
Vetch - you are correct that the ESA could not use the term "illegitimate", but it could have referred to non-marital children, and suitably defined the term.
My point is that if the ESA had been drafted to protect non-marital children, then the thousands of people like Hermy and Srmf5's friend (see posts 167&168 above) could use the Act to force institutions to stop discriminating against them and release the info they want.
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06-07-2019, 22:30   #176
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Pedro - thanks for your reply. No doubt you are correct about inheritance law, but my point was on a totally different topic, i.e. Equal Status Act.
Vetch - you are correct that the ESA could not use the term "illegitimate", but it could have referred to non-marital children, and suitably defined the term.
My point is that if the ESA had been drafted to protect non-marital children, then the thousands of people like Hermy and Srmf5's friend (see posts 167&168 above) could use the Act to force institutions to stop discriminating against them and release the info they want.
I'm not sure that I can agree with what you're saying here. It's difficult to see how non-marital doesn't mean the same as illegitimate in the example you are giving. I don't think either that adopted people have been refused info due to being born outside wedlock but due to privacy being promised to birth mothers.
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06-07-2019, 23:02   #177
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I'm not sure that I can agree with what you're saying here. It's difficult to see how non-marital doesn't mean the same as illegitimate in the example you are giving. I don't think either that adopted people have been refused info due to being born outside wedlock but due to privacy being promised to birth mothers.
First off there's no such thing as illegitimacy in my eyes - everyone has a mammy and a daddy.

Secondly, was privacy promised to birth mothers or was it demanded of them. I doubt that many of them gave informed consent.

And lastly, don't confuse privacy with secrecy. There are already laws in place that protect peoples privacy.
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07-07-2019, 00:39   #178
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Pedro - thanks for your reply. No doubt you are correct about inheritance law, but my point was on a totally different topic, i.e. Equal Status Act.
Vetch - you are correct that the ESA could not use the term "illegitimate", but it could have referred to non-marital children, and suitably defined the term.
My point is that if the ESA had been drafted to protect non-marital children, then the thousands of people like Hermy and Srmf5's friend (see posts 167&168 above) could use the Act to force institutions to stop discriminating against them and release the info they want.
Actually in the case of the lady I know who was adopted, the story that was provided was that she wasn't born out of wedlock. Her father was supposed to have died when her mother was five months pregnant and had been recent immigrants with two children. She was baptised and then given up for adoption when she was about a week old, as she felt she could not care for this child adequately, and planned to return to Ireland with her two other children. Two children had been left in Ireland with relatives while they were in America. The mother was unable to produce a birth certificate for the child or death certificate for the father.

As far as the orphanage knew, she was born to a married couple. However, there is uncertainty whether that was actually the case since there are discrepancies with the records. She was baptised and had her birth registered under two different surnames. The father died a year after she was born rather than before she was born and the family remained in America. Based on records, it seems unlikely that her mother's husband was the father since the date when she would have been conceived, the husband was already in America while the mother was still in Ireland. Based on the hint of the surname not sounding Irish, it seems as if the mother used her maiden name when the child was given up for adoption.

In that case, they're not discriminating because she's a non-marital child (even if she may have been born out of wedlock). I do think that the adoption records are sealed due to privacy reasons for the mother who may not want to be found and identified. However, that reason is clearly redundant when the adoptee is in her 90s and is just enforced because it's the law.
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07-07-2019, 04:45   #179
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Was just sorting through some of the old newspaper articles I searched last month when OU812 gave us the heads up that newspaper.com had a free weekend.

This was the introduction to a list of marriage licenses obtained during the month of October, in the early 1900's...
Do you suppose the journalist had a fight with the wife before or after this was published?

Last edited by Deja Boo; 25-07-2019 at 00:52.
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08-08-2019, 23:06   #180
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Last entry (no 86) on the page has no name for the child nor the father's name but it appears some enterprising person checked the baptismal record and had the details recorded at the side of the civil record. It seems strange to have a baptismal reference on a civil record - I've never seen it done before.

https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy....01/2328032.pdf
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