Children and Youth Affairs, National

By Jacob Richards

United Left Alliance TDs Clare Daly and Joan Collins are calling on the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald to bring forth robust legislation to provide for adoption information and tracing as quickly as possible. A bill was originally envisaged by Minister Fitzgerald to come before the Dáil by the end of 2012.

On Wednesday the 12 February 2013, when asked by United Left Alliance T.D Joan Collins for details of the proposed legislation, the Minister indicated that a bill will come before the Dáil in 2013 and “will provide for a structured and regulated approach to providing access to adoption information”. The Minister also said that the “bill will provide for the adoption authority to have access to all adoption records”.

Joan Collins T.D noted in response to the Minister that the delay in legislation was causing distress for many people:

“This is not good enough. Since 1975 people in Britain have had access to their birth certificates, yet 40 years on people here are still waiting for that opportunity, about which they are very stressed. Their parents are getting older and they want to find them. Unfortunately, in some cases, they have passed on. I hope the heads of the Bill will be introduced in this term”.

Clare Daly has called on the minister on a number of occasions to bring forward tracing legislation as a matter of urgency given that there is a timescale in this matter.  The records held by various religious groups involved in adoptions need to be copied and secured.   The Minister must keep to her word in bringing the legislation through this year. The legislation must also encompass the fullest possible scope in allowing for information regarding adoptions to be accessed. Such legislation is vitally important for those affected by adoption to be able to seek not only records of their pasts but also full medical histories.