By G9ija

Josephine Groarke. Photo: Dominick Walsh

It was in the late 1960s that Kerry woman Josephine Groarke discovered she couldn’t get pregnant. Married just a couple of years, upset and heartbroken – but determined to love and hold a child of her own someday – she contacted an adoption agency in Co Cork where a priest told her he would do what he could. Josephine was put on a waiting list.

In fact, the priest promised her a baby boy as soon as one became available.

It was expected of women who got pregnant outside of marriage in those days to give their babies away for adoption. Young women were ‘sent away’ until the baby was born. The baby was handed over at birth, and a heartbroken mother sent back into the world expected to lead a normal life.