...regaining identities, histories and rights for adopted people...  

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Adoption Rights Alliance is aware of a number of cases where adopted people’s births were not registered.  We are astounded that the then Adoption Board allowed adoptions to proceed where evidence was not produced to ensure the child’s birth had been registered.  To fail to register a birth is a criminal offence, yet we are unaware of any prosecutions in this regard.   In one particular case the Adoption Board accepted a baptismal certificate as proof of identity despite receiving a statement from the General Registrar’s Office confirming that the birth was not registered. 

Article 8 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child stipulates that the state should “respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity", a principle which has been clearly flouted in these instances.  

Article 8 also requires that “…[w]here a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.”   

Adoption Rights Alliance has seen no evidence of any plans to ensure that the identities of those whose births were not registered are re-established.

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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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