Bastardy and Randomness
FEBRUARY 3, 2013 10:35AM

The Long Road to Justice

I was a nosy kid. The one who always asked questions, who poked and prodded into secret drawers. I remember first stumbling across the strange-looking documents in my parents' cabinet drawer:  a Pan Am airline ticket receipt with the wording "MARY UNAC FITZPATRICK", some letters to and from nuns… Read full post »

Phillies Blunt 

He was mine through adoption, but somehow we developed a bond closer than most related by blood.  Maybe it was because I retained some dim memories of my birthmother, having been with her in the mother-baby home for nearly two years.  So relations with my adoptive mother were… Read full post »

JUNE 10, 2011 10:36PM

The Little NGO That Could

High Park Convent Laundry, Drumcondra, Dublin  


I just could not be more proud of the little NGO, Justice for Magdalenes, I co-founded back in 2003 with two other colleagues, no funding (a €26 account balance as we speak) and with less than a David-sized slingshot against a Goliath made of the Irish State/Read full post »

MARCH 3, 2011 11:38AM

A Modest Proposal

We Eat Babies 


TO:    The Adoption Authority of Ireland

            Shelbourne House, Shelbourne Road

            Dublin 4

        … Read full post »

Paddy Doyle

Despite spending most of his adult life bound to a wheelchair, Paddy Doyle is a formidable man.  Formidable in many ways.  After years of neglect and abuse in the Cappoquin, Wexford, industrial school in Ireland (including continued misdiagnosis and medical experimentation which res… Read full post »

JANUARY 26, 2011 9:23PM

No, I'm Not Oprah's Sister.

George Burns/AP

Nor do I wish I were, really.  Shit, would THAT get complex.  But I wish her and her sister and their extended families all the best.  And of course, adoption activist that I am, I had to submit an online congratulatory note via Oprah's OWN website along with the advice th… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 11, 2010 3:45PM

The Reluctant American


I am an American.  But not by birth nor by choice.  Fate, kharma, the butterfly effect...all these shaped my destiny to become something, to be defined as something.  This definition is one I wear quite uncomfortably.  I am a reluctant American and feel no shame in admitti… Read full post »

AUGUST 10, 2010 11:05AM

The Hidden Loss

From the cover of Mike Milotte's 'Banished Babies' 


"Adoption Loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful"
— The Reverend Keith C. Griffith, MBE 



The word conjures two distinct images for most people. Either you view it as a joyous, good-wil… Read full post »

Irish Magdalene procession (notice the Gardai carefully keeping watch), 1950s 



Honora was the youngest daughter in a family of five, from a small village in Wexford not far from the port of Rosslare.  While her father and several brothers mostly worked quarrying rock, her own mother's people were mostly seafarers.  Hardly prosperous, they a/Read full post »

Mother-baby home, Ireland, circa 1959

The first sensation Maura became aware of was a sort of sloshing, slurping sound.  Other sensations seemed to indicate she herself was actually a part of this sound, like the tugging and pressure she felt on her tiny body.  There was a sudden whack of something — air — a… Read full post »

JUNE 11, 2010 9:52PM

SEPTA Tales: Regional Rail Misery

Train wreck

I've felt an OS rant coming for a long time on this topic.  Perhaps some of you fellow regional rail riders will commiserate.  Some of you may think I'm just a cranky middle-aged woman (nods knowingly at CrankyCuss, who could probably write something far more eloquent and hilarious… Read full post »

 Dave Schultz, Philadelphia MagazineAs a Philadelphian caught up in our 2010 Flyers’ hurtling toward a Stanley Cup dream, I am tugged by a bittersweet memory of my late brother Marty.  Marty lost a brief battle to cancer last February at the age of 46, and the light went out not only on a vibrant,/… Read full post »

After writing my previous post <a href="">When 'Justice for All' becomes justice for...some</a>, I felt a sense of deep catharsis, of finally satisfying an itch that had been aggravatin… Read full post »

Author's disclaimer: the comments made here are my personal comments and do not reflect the opinions of any other group or organisation.   If you have the inane notion to take "legal action," please note that you must take it with me -- Mari Steed: personal assets=$0; self-respect and digni/Read full post »

I recently read a letter to the editor of the Irish Times by a Mark Kearney of Trinity College.  I really must reassess my whole conception of Trinity as a seat of higher learning.

I couldn't resist a rebuttal, although apparently the Times could — they didn't publish it.  So I'l… Read full post »

Irish Minister for Health and Children Barry Andrews' official statements on Wednesday, 3 March (at the Committee debate on a pending adoption bill) leave me with my jaw gaping and wondering if this man is fit for office. He said, "The first wave of inter-country adoptions occurred in the e/… Read full post »

AUGUST 4, 2009 3:42PM

I am furious.

Remember the Magdalenes 

I am furious.  Absolutely furious.  Over a week ago, the Justice for Magdalenes organization issued a press release to all of the major newspapers and media in Ireland as well as to all members and parties of government (full press release is shown below).  We challengedRead full post »

AUGUST 3, 2009 2:02PM

The Immigrant's Song


A Look at Intercountry Adoption 49 Years Gone

 The conversation began in my adoptive mother's kitchen on a sunny Sunday over a photo taken that previous Christmas. She was unhappy with the photo and when my mother is unhappy with something, she has the tendency to speak out. Normal… Read full post »

JULY 12, 2009 9:45AM

Hidden Loss

"Adoption Loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful"
— The Reverend Keith C. Griffith, MBE


The word conjures two distinct images for most people. Either you view it as a joyous, good-willed, altruistic means of building… Read full post »