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For thousands of people this is an emotional step to their bloodline and birth family.. Campaigners backing law change to help adopted children.

Byline: BLANAID MURPHY

NEW birth cert laws in the pipeline will help tens of thousands of adopted children to trace their natural parents.

The Irish Mirror launched a campaign last year to grant every adoptee a right to their birth certificate.

And the new legislation could mean 50,000 adopted people would have the legal right to their documents for the first time.

Adoptees would have access to the papers - but would have to agree to respect the wishes of their natural parents if they had asked never to be contacted.

The Government is considering the new legislation this week.

Wicklow TD Anne Ferris - who was forced to give up her own baby girl because she was date-raped as a teenager - said adopted children should know their real parents' names.

The Labour politician, 60, added: "For tens of thousands of people this is an emotional step towards knowing their bloodline and birth family.

"For the small percentage of parents and children who feel unable at first to take that daunting step to meet one another, I have every trust the parties involved will be respectful of each another's feelings.

"If my adopted daughter hadn't wanted to meet me I would have been heartbroken but I would have respected her privacy without the requirement of any legislative obstacle.

"But in all situations the parties should be given the information necessary to identify one another and for adopted people to be able I only discovered to identify themselves."

Under the new Adoption (Information and Tracing ) Bill put forward by Children's Minister James Reilly, an adoption information register would be set up and run by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

Tanaiste Joan Burton has also said the issue is close to her heart.

The Government's deputy leader told the Irish Mirror: "As an adopted person myself who only discovered the true identity of my parents in the late 1990s, by which time they were dead, I never thought that was right.

"In my view, it is an essential part of a child's identity that they should be entitled to know who their mother is.

"I look forward to discussing the legislation further at Cabinet and progressing it."

Independent Senator Averil Power - who was herself adopted from a mother-and-baby home - said the proposed new law would only apply to adopted children in the future.

She added: "Minister Reilly told the Seanad an unrestricted right to their birth cert might only be given to people adopted after the new legislation.

"This would be of no use to the 50,000 people adopted in the past.

"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 the family. Not knowing brings great pain and anxiety."

news@irishmirror.ie

I only discovered who my real parents were after their deaths JOAN BURTON dublin yesterday

CAPTION(S):

CONCERNED Adoptee Senator Averil Power

looking forward Wicklow TD Anne Ferris

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 21, 2015
Words:495
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