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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
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
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.”
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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
Alex Haley, Author of Roots