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Hogan Lovells works pro bono in Irish Mother and Baby Homes investigation

Independent commission to look into the treatment of unmarried mothers and infant mortality

15 June 2016

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Independent commission to look into the treatment of unmarried mothers and infant mortality

International firm Hogan Lovells is to provide pro bono support to mothers and adopted people giving evidence to an independent investigation into Irish Mother and Baby Homes.

Working in collaboration with the Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) and Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR), Hogan Lovells lawyers will assist in the preparation of witness statements to be sent to Ireland's Commission of Investigation.

The Hogan Lovells team will also use the documents and information gathered to create an archive of the experiences of various stakeholders, and assist ARA and JFMR in making submissions to the commission.

In 2015, the Irish government announced the formation of the commission to investigate Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland, following concerns about the deaths of children at a home in Tuam, County Galway.

Many unmarried mothers and children born out of wedlock experienced trauma resulting from their treatment at various institutions across Ireland. Even today, many continue to experience difficulties in accessing records and discovering their identities and family histories.

Among other matters, the commission will look into: the treatment of unmarried mothers; the role of state and religious bodies; the circumstances in which children were sent for adoption; and mortality rates of children born in these institutions.

The 2013 film adaptation of The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by journalist Martin Sixsmith telling the true story of a mother's 50-year search for her forcibly adopted son once again highlighted how 'fallen woman' were treated in Ireland.

To date, 624 women held in Magdalene laundries have received more than €23m under a government redress scheme.

Hogan Lovells consultant Rod Baker said: 'The hit film Philomena, released in 2013, increased awareness of what happened in the Mother and Baby Homes and it is great that through this project we can help those affected to tell their stories.'

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