Publication of Long-Awaited Government Information and Tracing Legislation Welcome
11 May 2021
Labour Senator Ivana Bacik has welcomed the publication of ‘long-awaited’ information and tracing legislation by Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration Roderic O’Gorman.
Senator Bacik said:
“The publication of this important legislation is hugely welcome. Survivors of Mother and Baby Homes and all adopted persons are waiting decades for this provision in law to be made to grant them the right to request access to information about who they are. Campaigners have been crying out for legislation to provide them with access to their birth certs, and this is something that the Labour Party has worked hard to achieve for survivors, and other adopted persons.
“I am pleased that Minister O’Gorman has made good on his commitment to publish legislation before the end of the year, as was initially planned. This represents an important signal from the Government that it is listening to the campaigners and advocacy groups that have called for an opportunity to understand their identity – who they are and where they came from. This very fundamental and foundational knowledge has not been provided to many adopted people.
“With regards to those who were incarcerated in institutions across the country, the forced separation of mothers and their children was a horrendous practice that is all too recent. The very least survivors deserve is access to information about who they are.
“In February, it appeared to us that, due to a lack of engagement with survivor groups, the Government would not produce this important legislation in time for survivors. In light of those concerns, which were articulately put forward to us by survivors themselves, I tabled legislation to amend the Adoption Act to provide adopted persons with the right to access their birth certs. I am heartened that it does not appear that it will be necessary for us to press this legislation further.
“I look forward to appraising the proposed bill in coming weeks, and to working to ensure that it does right by adopted people.”