Written answers

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Legislative Programme

Photo of Anne FerrisAnne Ferris (Wicklow, Labour)
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341. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason for the delay in progressing the adoption (information and tracing) Bill, if he is aware of the effect this delay is having on tens of thousands of persons awaiting personal information and connection with natural family members, if he will ensure that this Bill is enacted during the term of this Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43894/15]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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The Government approved the publication of the Heads and General Scheme of the adoption (information and tracing) Bill 2015 last July. The Bill is intended to facilitate access to adoption information and operates on the basis of a presumption in favour of disclosing information in so far as is legally and constitutionally possible. The Bill will, for the first time, provide a statutory basis for the provision of information related to both past and future adoptions. It will provide clarity around the information that can be provided and the circumstances in which it can be provided.

I referred the Bill to the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Health and Children for pre legislative scrutiny. The Committee published their Report recently and my Department is currently examining the recommendations of the Committee with a view to incorporating the views of the Committee where appropriate and subject to legal advice.

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