Grim conditions inside the homes, where thousands of ostracized young women were sent after they became pregnant, remained largely secret until a couple of decades ago. Finally, news about abuses, substandard medical care and forced adoptions began to attract mainstream attention, buoyed by books and films such as “The Magdalene Sisters” in 2002 and “Philomena” in 2013.
The number of people who have asked to include their information on Ireland’s National Adoption Contact Preference Register, a database that helps adoptees and their birth parents find each other, has jumped, according to government records. In 2012, 542 people asked to join the register, a number that increased to 721 in 2013. By last September, 628 more people had asked to be placed in the register, records show.