Press Release, 14th
May 2015 – for immediate release
Adoption Rights Alliance Calls for Yes Vote in Marriage Equality
Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA),
for equal human and civil rights for those affected by Ireland's
closed, secret, forced adoption system, is stating its unequivocal
support for a Yes vote in the upcoming marriage equality referendum.
We in ARA campaign for child-centred, ethical
practices in adoption and assisted human reproduction (AHR) and in our
view, the rights of children have been hijacked by those calling for a
No vote in the referendum. We are outraged at certain individuals and
groups who attempt to pit one minority group against another in citing
adoption issues as a matter for concern in this referendum.
Firstly, this constitutional
amendment is about marriage and has nothing to do with children.
Moreover, children’s rights in adoption and AHR are best
protected through adequate legislation and regulation in those areas.
We also wish to assure those who profess to defend us that the
sexuality of our adoptive parents is immaterial compared to the fact
that adopted people have no automatic right to their birth
certificates and files.
Finally, these individuals also appear to forget that there are many
members of the adoption community who also happen to be lesbian or
Undoubtedly, much work remains to be done to
protect children’s rights in adoption and AHR; however those in the
‘No camp’ are more of a hindrance than a help to those of us who
actually campaign on the issues.
Though this matter is not related to the referendum, we wish to
point out that heterosexual people also avail of adoption and assisted
human reproductive services and those who exclusively focus on lesbian
and gay parents are disingenuous in the extreme.
Simply put, homophobia has no place in discussions around
children’s rights. During
the passage of the Children and Family Relationships Bill through the
Oireachtas, the unfair focus on LGBT parents resulted in the real
issues surrounding children’s rights being lost, because the debate
was dominated by those who operate from a different agenda and who
have no track record in campaigning for identity rights for adopted
For our organisation this referendum is about
more than marriage – it concerns equality for all our nation’s
citizens and frankly, equality should never be a matter for debate. As
adopted people, we were separated from our natural mothers because
only one type of family was protected under our Constitution and if
this referendum is passed, it will be an important milestone in
consigning that version of our country to the history books. As
adopted people we continue to be treated unequally and thus we in
Adoption Rights Alliance are proud to stand in solidarity with the
LGBT community in urging a Yes vote on May 22nd.