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Group seeks rights for illegally adopted

ORLA TINSLEY

Mon, Oct 08, 2012

A GROUP CAMPAIGNING for the rights of those ‘informally’ or ‘illegally’ adopted have held a demonstration calling for their right to be recognised in new adoption legislation due for review at the end of this year.

About 20 supporters of campaign group Adopted Illegally congregated outside the Central Bank in Dublin on Saturday asking the Government to release records to help those illegally adopted to gain access to essential medical and historical information.

Theresa Tinggal and fellow campaigner Maria Dumbell travelled to Dublin from the UK earlier this week to hand a letter to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald asking her to make available records relating to informal adoptions in the 1950s.

“We want legislation changed in Ireland so we can gain access to case files, medical workers’ files that do exist,” said Ms Tinggal. She learned eight years ago that she had been adopted illegally when she was two days old.

“In view of the Adoption Information and Tracing Bill coming out at the end of the year, and the children’s referendum, we thought it was an appropriate time to come over,” she said.

The group met the HSE this week to put their case. “We were told by the HSE we can’t change anything unless legislation changes and that’s why we’re lobbying,” said Ms Tinggal.

Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald joined the demonstration calling for legislation to be drafted. “I’m here to support adopted people in what I believe are very reasonable asks of the State in respect to accessing their files and basic provisions available to people adopted that are living in other jurisdictions,” she said.

“The new Adoption Bill offers an opportunity to give rights in respect to tracing, access to files – and I think the Government should take the opportunity.”

Trafficked, an installation documenting the illegal adoption issue by Cllr Mannix Flynn, was on display this weekend in Temple Bar. It includes passport images of babies shipped to America and paperwork associated with them. Mr Flynn said illegal adoption was “a massive issue for Ireland”.

© 2012 The Irish Times

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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." 

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