Murnane O’Connor welcomes publication of Birth Information and Tracing Bill

Published on: 13 January 2022

Legislation will, if enacted, respond comprehensively to the decades-long campaign on the part of adopted people to vindicate their fundamental rights to information


Bill will begin debate in the Oireachtas this month

 Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow, Jennifer Murnane O’Connor, has today welcomed the publication of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2022.

This landmark legislation will provide a full and clear right of access to birth certificates, birth and early life information for all persons who were adopted, boarded out, the subject of an illegal birth registration or who otherwise have questions in relation to their origins.

Crucially, the Bill’s requirement for an information session where a parent has expressed a no-contact preference now no longer needs to be a physical meeting; the revised bill makes provision for this to take place by means of a short phone call or video call if desired.

The legislation addresses the issues facing people who are the subject of an illegal birth registration.  The Bill will provide a legal mechanism for provision of an accurate birth registration to affected individuals, while remaining mindful of their current identity.

Speaking on the published Bill, Deputy Murnane O’Connor said, “As a committee member I contributed to the report which made 83 recommendations to the Minister on this legislation. It is an area of legislation I have worked closely with the Minister on; access is of the utmost importance and the ability for all to trace their identity hugely important.”

The Carlow TD added: "For decades in this country, adopted people have been failed in being denied clear access to their identity information. With this bill, we are restoring to adopted people the information that so many of us take for granted as part of our own, personal stories. The Bill ends Ireland’s outlier status in terms of having legislation that provides access to information about one’s origins.

“While the legislation aims to help those with questions on their origins, it also provides important services relating to contact and sharing of information. I hope that these other services will be valuable, not only to adopted persons, but also to mothers seeking contact with, or information on, their adopted child, as well as other family members.”

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