O’SULLIVAN STATEMENT ON ADOPTION (INFORMATION AND TRACING) BILL
Comments from Jan O’Sullivan, Labour Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, regarding the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill:
“I welcome news that the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill will be published tomorrow, but I have concerns that it may not give people who have been adopted the full rights they are looking for.
“I have been raising the need for information and tracing rights with Minister Zappone repeatedly and pressing her on the publication of the Bill, as such rights were not included in the Adoption (Information) Bill that is currently at Report Stage.
“Media reports today that adopted persons will have to sign a Statutory Declaration respecting the wishes of their birth parents is worrying in view of recommendations by the Oireachtas Committee, which carried out pre-legislative scrutiny on the Bill last year (and reports suggest the new Bill will be similar).
“This included that the proposed Statutory Declaration could possibly be ‘replaced by an alternative provision, where applicants must attend a preparatory session to explore issues around privacy and respect, before a birth certificate is issued’. This view reflected the presentations that were made to the committee at the time.
“While I look forward to the publication of the Bill, I will be raising this concern and proposing amendments if the rights of people who have been adopted are too tightly curtailed and limited.”