Rights group calls for legislation for victims of unlawful birth registrations

The Children’s Rights Alliance (CRA) has called for new adoption legislation to be expedited to help people whose adopted parents were unlawfully registered as their birth parents.

Children’s Minister Dr Katherine Zappone yesterday announced that Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, will make contact with people in 126 cases where births were incorrectly registered between 1946 and 1969.

The minister said the practice has been known for “many years”, but has been “extremely difficult to identify and prove in individual cases because of the deliberate failure of those involved to keep records”.

However, clear evidence was discovered in adoption records transferred to Tusla by the former adoption society St Patrick’s Guild.

Tanya Ward, chief executive of the Alliance, said the 126 cases “raise serious human rights issues for the people affected”.

Ms Ward (pictured) added: “We are calling for the Information and Tracing Bill 2016 to be fast-tracked as a matter of urgency to help the people affected. Section 34 of the Bill imposes a duty on Tusla, the Child and Family Agency to conduct enquiries to establish whether a person has been subject to what it calls an ‘incorrect registration’. The Bill also provides the adopted person with an entitlement to any information that might be uncovered through this process.

“We have been talking about this legislation for a decade and an entire generation of children have grown up while we talked about giving them the right to an identity. We must act now. Many people will be waking up today and will be traumatised by the news. At the very least we need to provide them with a statutory basis to establish the truth.”