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New legislation "offensive" says spokesperson for adopted people

New legislation "offensive" says spokesperson for adopted people New legislation "offensive" says spokesperson for adopted people
Mary O'Neill

New legislation which will give adopted people the right to access their original birth certificate and other personal information has been published.

The legislation was brought forward by Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman, and was promised following the publication of the report of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission last year.

The right has been called for by campaigners for decades, however previous governments have cited difficulties legislating for it due to the rights of privacy of the birth mother.

Under the new Birth Information and Tracing Bill, priority will be given to the adopted person who is seeking information by giving them access to their original birth certificate.

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However, birth mothers will be able to register their preference for no contact which will be communicated to the adopted person in an informational session with a social worker. The adopted person will also be informed about the importance of respecting the privacy and preference of their birth mother before they are given a copy of the birth certificate.

The Adoption Rights Alliance has described the legislation as "offensive" and is calling for changes. Spokesperson Claire McGettrick spoke to Damien on Deise Today

The bill doesn't actually provide full and clear access to everybody.. if a person registers a preference for no contact with an adopted person. That person will have to attend a mandatory information session, at which the concept of privacy is explained to them... only then will they get access to their birth certificate.. we can already get them for ourselves.. they're public documents.. adopted people should not be treated differently to the rest of the population.

Have a listen to Claire's full discussion with Damien on this matter, through the link in this podcast.

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