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Adoption register unfit for reuniting families

Thanks to Conall O’Fatharta’s article highlighting the white elephant that is the National Adoption Contact Preference Register.

The title and the six-page application are enough to scare people off joining.

Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald uses this register to defend her unwillingness to change adoption practices. Passive adoption registries never work.

The register is only accessible by applying in writing and supplying private information on six pages of an application. One cannot apply online. The register has never been advertised outside of Ireland, where many birth parents and adoptees reside.

The register is barely staffed, by the government-funded Adoption Authority of Ireland, which was responsible for the initial separation of mother and children in the first place. The register has never been advertised.

I am one of three siblings, all adopted in 1960s: the register failed to bring us and our birth mother together.

Until the State has open adoption records and funds an independent tracing service manned by people who understand birth parents and adoptees, tax payers’ money might as well be flushed down the toilet. We Irish-born adoptees have been failed by the State with regard to a trace and reunion service.

Edel Byrne

Castlederg

Co Tyrone


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