Aitheantas says new research project on language, terminology and representations in Mother and Baby Homes must be adoptee/survivor centred

Aitheantas, the adoptee identity rights organisation, said the joint research project launched today (17.05.21) by Minister O’Gorman on language, terminology and representations in institutions known as ‘Mother and Baby Homes’, must be adoptee/ survivor centred.  

Commenting on today’s announcement, Maree Ryan-O’Brien, founder of Aitheantas said: “The Commission of Investigation in Mother and Baby Homes had a very limited remit, which excluded both adoptees and survivors that did not come through the agencies or homes, but may have been similarly affected by this issue. We must ensure that this new research does not perpetuate this exclusion. The effects of adoption and views on language, terminology and representations are not limited to a specific home or a specific remit. 

“Aitheantas has undertaken significant work on this area, and we are firmly of the belief that this delicate research should have the balanced involvement of a number of bodies and as broad a representation of stakeholders as is possible, to ensure that it remains objective, and adoptee/survivor centred and led.

Ms. Ryan- O’Brien called on the Minister to ensure that the project would inclusive of all affected parties. “We must ensure that this research does not lock people out of a very important conversation on language, terminology, and representations, which directly affects them. We believe, and it is a consistent theme in our submissions, that we cannot have a research body working on and deciding on terminology for persons that will be affected, while at the same time not allowing them take part in the conversation.  We need to ensure that all voices are heard.”


Contact: Aitheantas Press Team,

Notes to Editor: 

  • Maree Ryan-O’Brien is available for media interviews. 
  • Aitheantas campaigns to give Irish adoptees access to their own information on health, heritage and history, and acknowledgment of their identity rights. Further information is available at: or by following Aitheantas on Twitter, @Aitheantas. 

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