No. A total lie. Women had to apply to get into a home, none were forced against their will by the authorities. Moreover, as part of a successful application, women had to promise to stay resident in the home for one or two years to help rear the baby. Breast milk could only be bought by employing wet nurses, and they were in short supply. Even today with the ”breast is best campaigns, many infants die from the world’s biggest killer of infants in history, the babies bottle. Mothers were expected to give their baby the best start in life, but the majority of mothers did not stay resident for the full term as promised.
Many homes have been misnamed in recent years to bolster the conspiracy theories. Many homes were refuges for women and children, and many children resident were not illegitimate, nor were the mothers unmarried. In Tuam, the home was known as ‘the children’s home’, officially St Mary’s Children’s Home. Records show that a small number of mothers and their children, in crisis, were sometimes asked by the courts to reside temporarily at these refuges. This practice has been inflated to incarceration by some commentators, but it is easily exposed as a fantasy. The courts today make similar directions for the protection of vulnerable people. There is nothing unusual about such directions, nor are they a kind of informal incarceration.