Campaigners raise concerns about new Adoption Bill

Campaigners have raised serious concerns about a new Adoption Bill – saying it should be re-drafted altogether.

Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone said it is revolutionary, because it presumes that people should have a right to their birth certificate.

But opponents have said they will not have full access to their own records.

Susan Lohan, a co-founder of the Adoption Rights Alliance, found her natural mother in 1985, but continues to search for her father and siblings. She said the Adoption Bill discriminates against adoptees.

“In Katherine Zappone’s bill adopted people will be forced to sign an undertaking saying they won’t contact their natural parents and it is only upon signing that undertaking that they will actually be given their birth cert information.”

But the Children’s Minister said it is the first time it is presumed they should have access to their birth certificates.

Katherine Zappone said the rights of the mother and the child must be balanced.

“Particularly for adopted people that their rights to an identity is protected. But at the same time I also have to listen to birth mothers and the concerns that they have too.”

The bill will be debated in the Seanad later this month.

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