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Bill aiming to help adopted people access information about their life passes Oireacthas

It seeks to clear a way for adopted people to access information on their life.

Minister Roderic O'Gorman
Minister Roderic O'Gorman
Image: Rolling News

LEGISLATION DESIGNED TO provide adopted people access to their information has passed all stages in the Oireachtas.

The Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman has said the Birth, Information and Tracing Bill will aim to enshrine in law for adopted people a clear right of access to birth certificates, birth and early life information. 

It will also apply to people who were boarded out or the subject of an illegal birth registration. 

Under a previous iteration of the Bill, adopted people seeking records would have been required to attend a mandatory information session with a social worker if the person’s biological mother or father had opted to not be contacted.

Under current legislation, adopted people are not entitled to their birth certificate or to information about their families of origin.

However, under the new law, even if a biological parent says they don’t want their child to get their birth cert or related information, the adopted person will still get access.

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Elements of the draft legislation drew criticism by adoption campaigners when the Heads of Bill were published last year.

Other changes to the Bill include that information available for adopted people will be expanded to include baptism certs, and the term ‘birth mother’ has been changed to ‘mother’ in the text after some campaigners labelled this former term reductive.

With reporting by Órla Ryan

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