The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, today announced her decision in relation to progressing the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill, 2016. This decision has been made following the Minister’s recent period of briefings and consultations with Oireachtas members, the Collaborative Forum and stakeholder groups regarding four possible options on legislative ways forward.
Despite everyone involved making significant efforts to reach consensus on the issue of release of birth information, it has not proved possible to reach agreement, at this time. However, the Minister considers it prudent and necessary for other important issues to be progressed.
Accordingly, she intends to progress with an option which has received support from the majority of those recently consulted.
This option provides for the following matters to be dealt with:
The Minister said:
Over the past number of years, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, has consulted on numerous occasions with the Office of the Attorney General and developed various proposals regarding provisions for the release of information.
The Minister’s legal advice is that there must be some protection of birth parents' constitutional right to privacy reflected in the legislation. There are two rights at play, the right to identity and the right to privacy, and legislation must seek to harmonise these rights. However, this advice is contrary to the desire of advocates for unrestricted access to identity information and to birth certificates.