The Seanad has unanimously passed the Adoption (Identity and Information Bill). Under the Bill:

– All adoptees will have a right to their birth certs, listing their original names and their parents’ names;

– Natural parents can request information about their adopted sons or daughters; and

– Adoptees and their parents can choose whether they are happy to have their current contact details released to each other.

The Bill was proposed by Senator Averil Power and co-sponsored by Senators Jillian van Turnhout and Fidelma Healy Eames.

Senator Power, who was adopted as a baby, said she is “thrilled the Bill received the unanimous support of the Seanad”. She also called on the Minister for Children, who did not oppose the Bill in the Seanad, to progress it through the Dáil as soon as possible.

“For too long adopted people have been robbed of our identities, denied basic information about ourselves and our parents that others take for granted. Thousands of Irish adoptees don’t know their original names, who their parents are or even if there is a serious illness that runs in their family. Not knowing is a source of great pain and anxiety. Our Bill is designed to change this.

“It will also assist natural parents who would like to reunite with their adopted sons or daughters. Many women were forced to put their babies up for adoption and have spent years wondering if they are ok. Some, like Philomena Lee, have tried to trace them but been denied information by the State and lied to by adoption agencies. This bill will finally give them the support they deserve”, Senator Power said.

Senator Power thanked Senators van Turnhout and Healy Eames for co-sponsoring the Bill and Dr Fergus Ryan who drafted it.