Adoption information legislation to be published this year

Children's Minister Dr Katherine Zappone
Children’s Minister Dr Katherine Zappone

Draft legislation to give adopted people greater access to information about their birth parents will be published this year.

Children’s Minister Dr Katherine Zappone told TDs last week that she is “committed to progressing the Bill and to publish it as soon as possible this year”.

The Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill is being drafted independently of the Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016, which gives legislative effect to the 2012 children referendum.

Dr Zappone said: “The Government approved drafting of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill in December 2015.

“This Bill is intended to facilitate access to adoption information and operates on the basis of a presumption in favour of disclosing information in so far as is legally and constitutionally possible for both domestic and inter-country adoptions.

“The Bill was always envisaged as a stand-alone piece of legislation, to address the complex issues of retrospective and future adoptions.”

The Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors (CMABS) has called for the legislation to be passed as a matter of urgency.

Paul Redmond of CMABS told the Irish Examiner: “CMABS cautioned last year that our community would end up reunited with headstones in cold and lonely graveyards if the new Adoption Bill was not passed as a matter of urgency.”

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