Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Select Committee on Children and Youth Affairs

Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2022: Committee Stage

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats) | Oireachtas source

We will be working in the way Deputy Funchion outlined to shorten the debate. As we acknowledged, an awful lot of amendments have been submitted and there is no point in us doubling up on everything we say.

These specific amendments speak to an issue that is at the heart of the Bill and deal with the type of information to which adopted people and their relatives are entitled. As Deputy Pringle said, it is necessary explicitly to include clear and comprehensive definitions of things such as administrative records, other records and sources that will guarantee survivors and relatives access to the full information they should be provided with. The level of detail we are looking for is based on the experience of survivors and campaigners. For years, people have been denied access to information based on the interpretation of the law by public bodies and officials. We can all understand why people feel the urge to make things such as this explicitly clear in the legislation. There cannot be any ambiguity this time. State bodies, institutions and the church need to have no room to continue to deny people access to their information. I wanted to come in at this early stage and say that.


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