Just after World War II, Hollywood film star, Jane Russell, searched Europe in a bid to adopt a child after finding out she could not have her own. At the time intercountry adoption was considered an embarrassment by countries whose children were adopted by wealthy Americans. In fact members of the British Parliament demanded that: “American movie stars stop “stealing” British and Irish children”. http://tradescant.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/jane-russell-and-south-lambeth-adoption.html
Russell formed an intercountry adoption agency, W.A.I.F., and used it to promote the concept of “saving orphans” and to normalise the moving of children from their own country to the US. In the process Russell adopted 3 children and was responsible for over 40,000 intercountry adoptions, including babies from Ireland. There is a reference to Russell in the movie Philomena.
“After discovering firsthand that adoptions overseas were mired in red tape, Russell succeeded in lobbying Congress to ease the regulations then in force. To aid her…
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