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Clann: Ireland’s Unmarried Mothers and their Children: Gathering the Data

Clann is a joint initiative by Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) and JFM Research (Justice for Magdalenes Research) which is being delivered in association with global law firm, Hogan Lovells. Its purpose is to help establish the truth of what happened to unmarried mothers and their children in 20th century Ireland, following the establishment of a Commission of Investigation into the operation of the Mother and Baby Homes by the Irish government. Clann formally launched on June 15, 2016 in Ireland.

This project is relevant to the 2000+ children who were adopted from Ireland to the USA between the late 1940s and early 1970s (the so called “Banished Babies”). Equally, it is relevant to the countless Irish natural mothers whose children were adopted (and, no doubt, some natural fathers), who made their way to and now live in the USA. Additionally, given the involvement of US-based adoption workers, social workers, and child services agencies and Catholic Charities personnel in handling the Irish-US adoptions, there may well be other witnesses whose testimony is important.

Clann’s aims:

  • To enable people who were affected by any of the 170+ institutions, organisations, agencies or individuals involved with Ireland’s unmarried mothers and their children to contribute to the public record
  • To ensure that the Commission of Investigation into the Mother and Baby Homes conducts the most comprehensive investigation possible and that it makes appropriate findings and recommendations
  • To arrange free witness statement drafting assistance to enable people to make a comprehensive statement to the Commission
  • To compile a group submission on behalf of those affected by Ireland’s treatment of unmarried mothers and their children
  • To create a permanent archive of the experiences of Ireland’s unmarried mothers and their children via the Clann website, as a resource for individuals affected by the issues, and which will be available to the wider public for ongoing education and research.

The Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers (CIIC) and its membership throughout the United States, are assisting Clann in the distribution of this information to ensure that any individual who was involved with the Mother and Baby homes and wishes to tell their story, has the opportunity to do so, with the support and assistance of the Clann initiative.
There is no obligation on any person who avails of assistance through Clann to make their testimony public. In the first instance, you will be asked whether you would like to send your testimony confidentially to the Commission of Investigation. Secondly, you will have the opportunity to contribute your testimony (anonymised) to Clann’s group report, but the choice whether to do so is entirely yours.

For more information on Clann and how to avail of assistance in providing testimony or documentary evidence, please visit: or email
Alternatively, please write to Rod Baker, Hogan Lovells International LLP, Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FG, UK with your contact details.

For more information on the process of testimony gathering, please see Clann’s Information Form and also Clann’s Guide to the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes. For hard copies of these documents contact Clann at or Rod Baker, Hogan Lovells International LLP, Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FG, UK.

See links below to for additional information to share with constituents:

View “Clann Video”

Download: “Clann Flyer”

Download: “Guide to the Commission of Investigation”