Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Robert Troy TD has welcomed the publication of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill and has called on the Government to ensure Tusla is adequately resourced to implement the provisions of the Bill.
Deputy Troy has said that further consideration is also needed regarding some proposed exemptions contained in the Bill.
Deputy Troy commented, “The publication of this Bill is a welcome development. However I have concerns that not everybody will be able to access their birth certificates, and the Minister must clarify what exceptional circumstances the Bill would permit to prevent someone from gaining access to their birth certificates.
“I am also concerned about the lengthy 12 month lead-in period proposed in the Bill. As the case of Philomena Lee showed us, for many parents and adoptees time is of the essence in these situations. I see no reason why the implementation of this Bill should not be fast tracked as a matter of priority. With a push by the Minister, and a more intensive information campaign, a three month lead-in period is more than sufficient.
“The Minister has delegated authority over this Bill to Tusla, a body which is already under severe financial strain. Currently adopted people, natural parents, adoptive parents, siblings of adopted people and those raised in long term foster care experience delays of several years while they wait for Tusla to process adoption information and undertake a tracing service.
“The Government must ensure that Tusla is given the resources it needs to enable adoptees to progress though the tracking and information systems in a more reasonable time frame.
“The benefits of this Bill are moot unless the Minister puts adequate resources and functioning management structures to ensure Tusla can process these enquiries within a reasonable time period.