Adoption proposal 'doesn't mean a hell of a lot' says rights group

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A spokesperson for the Adoption Rights Alliance has said that the proposal that adopted men and women will no longer be forced to sign an “undertaking” saying they won’t contact their natural parents in order to get access to their birth cert information “doesn’t mean a hell of a lot.”

TDs and lobby groups had expressed concerns with the provision contained in the Adoption and Information Tracing Bill which is currently making its way through the Oireachtas.

The proposed law would give adopted children access to information on their birth as well as providing access to birth certificate information for adopted people who found out that they had been wrongly registered as the biological children of their adoptive parents.

Claire McGettrick of the Adoption Rights Alliance told RTE’s Morning Ireland that “regretfully” the Alliance is not in a position to support the revised scheme.

Adopted people are being uniquely discriminated against, she said.

The Government is making the issue more complex because it has conflated the right to information with the possibility of adopted people seeking a relationship with their birth parents.

“We are talking about information, not contact or a relationship.”

Information on a birth certificate is a matter of public record and accessible by any member of the public. Adopted people are being discriminated against when they seek information, she said.

“Just because someone seeks out information does not mean they are looking for a relationship with their birth parents. They just want to be treated like every other Irish citizen.”

Ms McGettrick pointed out that many people do research to compile family trees or take ancestry DNA tests “and the sun isn’t falling from the sky.

“Nobody is suggesting that people be forced into relationships. I hope the Government is not suggesting that adopted people are not capable of respecting privacy.

“The vast majority will walk away respectfully if their parents don’t want a relationship. Because the issues have been conflated it has ended up being confusing.

“This is about information rights.”

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