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Debate on 31st Amendment to the Constitution (Children) Bill 2012

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Extract: Senator Jillian van Turnhout

I refer to the amendment before us, that will shortly go before the people of Ireland for their considered opinion. I do not believe it will be a surprise to the Minister that I would have preferred if it had gone further in a number of areas, particularly in stating certain rights such as the right to identity. I am keenly aware that more than 50,000 adopted persons have no automatic legal right to their birth certificate, medical information or history, or any legal right to trace information about their identity. We will be able to address this issue in part through legislation but aspects may need to be addressed at constitutional level. Legislative and constitutional change on this area is an issue for which I will continue to advocate.

Click here for full speech from Senator Jillian van Turnhout

Thirty-First Amendment of the Constitution (Children) Bill 2012: Committee Stage (Resumed) and Remaining Stages (Continued) – Wednesday 3 October 2012

Extract: Minister Frances Fitzgerald TD

Constitutional change is but one aspect of the change and it is not a panacea. This point has been made by many speakers in the debate. I acknowledge that the issue of resources and legislation need to be dealt with and these will be challenges. When this referendum is passed, I will do my best to prioritise the adoption and the tracing legislation that will be required and the establishment of the new agency and the legislation to allow for best interests of the child and for the views of the child to be taken into account.

Click here for full speech from Minister Frances Fitzgerald

To read full debate, use the page numbers (drop down) at the end of the page of either of the links above.

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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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