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Kenny ‘ill-informed’ on rights of adopted, say advocates

Conall Ó Fátharta, Irish Examiner, October 16, 2013

Adopted people have hit out at “ill-informed” comments by Taoiseach Enda Kenny about the right of adopted people and natural parents to trace one another.

Responding to comments by Independent TD Clare Daly in the Dáil about delays in the Adoption Tracing and Information Bill, Mr Kenny said the position had clearly “changed and people are entitled to find their natural parents and vice versa”.

Susan Lohan of the Adoption Rights Alliance said she was “astonished” that the Taoiseach could be so ill-informed about a topic which affects tens of thousands of Irish people.

“An Taoiseach is missing the central point, which is that 50,000-plus adopted people and their 100,000-plus natural parents have no entitlement to any information about each other which, for adopted people, starts with having no legal entitlement to their own birth certificates,” she said.

“If the bill contains no provisions for those 50,000-plus adopted people alive today, it will be a futile exercise and will merely serve as a figleaf for the Government to avoid a meaningful examination of the State’s collusion with the Catholic Church in arranging illegal adoptions.”

She said Mr Kenny and Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald should ask why the Adoption Authority refuses to inspect all adoption files held by accredited adoption agencies in Ireland to uncover the level of illegal and forced adoptions.

She also asked why the Government was so intent on securing children for couples who wish to adopt from abroad while the rights of adopted people and natural parents here are ignored.

“It was exactly 10 years ago since [the Adoption Rights Alliance] participated in an intense three-day government consultation process with former minister for children Brian Lenihan, where the message could not have been clearer: Adopted people and their natural parents overwhelmingly supported and demanded a state assisted, statutory-based, Adoption Information and Tracing Service.

“A decade later, nothing has changed other than vital files disappearing into inaccessible warehouses whilst the Taoiseach busies himself with establishing the Irish roots of American presidents. The ‘deny ’til we die’ strategy, so well-rehearsed for the Magdalene Laundry survivors, continues to pay dividends to an immature legislature.”

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning . . . and the most disquieting loneliness." 

Alex Haley, Author of Roots 



 

 

 

 

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