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Irish Examiner Letters 28th January 2009

Adopted Irish people still getting raw deal

THE Adoption Bill 2009 ratifying the Hague Convention for the Protection of Children in Intercountry Adoption will go a long way towards ensuring that such adoptions in Ireland are ethical and above board.

As an adopted person I am naturally happy to see the introduction of any measures that will protect the most important person in an adoption — the child.

However, the Hague convention only concerns itself with foreign adoptions and there are thousands of adopted Irish people whose rights have yet to be enshrined in legislation.

In 2003, along with many other people affected by adoption in Ireland, I took part in the adoption legislation consultation. It was an emotionally exhausting experience, but at the time I felt it was worth it if it meant I was contributing to positive change in adoption legislation.

It is now 2009, and apart from the introduction of the National Adoption Contact Preference Register (NACPR) and the Hague bill, nothing has changed. While positive steps must be welcomed, the fact still remains that Irish adopted people are treated differently to other Irish citizens. Every other Irish person — regardless of their ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or creed — has the right to their birth certificate.

In 2009 Irish adopted people are denied this basic fundamental right.  They are still being discriminated against and this should be changed.

Claire McGettrick

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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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