adoptees will not have legal right to trace parents
June 03, 2011
who were put up for adoption when they were babies are not going to be
given legal entitlement to trace their natural parents, according to the
Minister for Children.
the past decade adoption groups have been lobbying for legislation
giving rights on family information and tracing.
A public consultation process in 2003 recommended putting tracing and
reunion services on a legislative footing. In Britain, the 1975
Children’s Act allowed for adopted people to receive unhindered access
to their original records and adoption files on turning 18.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald said
she thinks it "would be very difficult" to provide tracing
rights in the case of historic adoptions.
"I think that would be very difficult and there will be people who
will be very disappointed hearing that.
"However, what I think we need to do in the meantime is, we need to
build up very good services now where people who do want to trace [in
the future, will] have access to high quality counselling and
information on both sides — for the mother who has given up the child
and the person who is looking for information."
Since those comments Claire Mc Gettrick’s phone has not stopped
ringing. She is a co-founder of the Adopted Rights Alliance.
"We were absolutely disgusted that in a throwaway comment like that
the minister acted as if the past 10 years had not happened.
"We had been under the impression that this issue would be dealt
with under the children’s rights referendum as this would give all
children a right to an identity," she said.
"I think the minister revealed that she too suffers from an
underlying prejudice that is out there — a prejudice that all adopted
mothers need in some way to be protected from their adopted children.
"If a mother doesn’t want to meet her grown-up child but the
child can get access to her medical history, the vast, vast majority of
adopted people will just walk away."
appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, June 03,
There is a slight error in the last two quotations above. The
first quotation should read "that all NATURAL mothers need in some
way to be protected from their adopted children." The second should
read "history" as opposed to "medical history" and
it relates to the argument that legislation is not required to
"protect" natural parents from their adult children.
note: Adoption Rights Alliance fully understands that the misquote
was entirely unintentional on Claire O'Sullivan's part and we are very
appreciative of the Irish Examiner's coverage of the topic.
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