In a news story just published, Chris Buckler, BBC Ireland Correspondent, writes that Philomena Lee’s child was “taken away” from her. “When her son Anthony was three-and-a-half years old, the nuns in the convent gave him up for adoption to an American couple. It all happened behind Philomena’s back.” (My italics.)
This is a lie. The proof is the oath that Philomena signed. Here is what it said:
“That I am the mother of Anthony Lee who was born to me out of wedlock at Sean Ross Abbey, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, on 5th July 1952.
“That I hereby relinquish full claim forever to my said child Anthony Lee and surrender said child to Sister Barbara, Superioress of Sean Ross Abbey, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.
“The purpose of this relinquishment is to enable Sister Barbara to make my child available for adoption to any person she considers fit and proper inside or outside the state.
“That I further undertake never to attempt to see, interfere with or make any claim to the said child at any future time.”
This oath was signed by Philomena Lee. Below her signature, it says:
“Subscribed and sworn to by the said Philomena Lee as her free act and deed this 27th day of June 1955.” Signed, Desmond A. Houlihan, notary public.
It should also be noted that Philomena was not a teenager when she voluntarily put her son up for adoption—she was 22. Anyone who doubts what I have said should read p. 51 in Martin Sixsmith’s book, Philomena. While he is a major part of the spin game regarding Philomena, the oath that he reprints settles the argument: her baby was not “forcibly taken” and nothing happened “behind her back.”