Thursday, 27 May 2021
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Registration of Births
8. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the progress made to address the situation of those who were given an illegal birth registration at St. Patrick’s Guild; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28727/21]
I am committed to addressing the distressing situation of those affected by the St. Patrick’s Guild Illegal Birth Registrations.
In February, I established an Interdepartmental Group to develop a set of integrated proposals that would address the issues arising for these individuals.They span a range of areas including, in particular, birth registration, identity, parentage and inheritance.
I brought the IDG's proposals to Government earlier this month in partnership with my colleague, the Minister for Social Protection. The Government approved our proposals and also approved the drafting of legislation to give effect to their central elements.
The proposals provide for full access to birth and early life information for people who are affected by illegal birth registration or who suspect that they may be.They address the issue of correcting the birth registration of affected individuals, and providing them with choice and clarity in matters relating to their identity.
They also provide a process to ensure that the parents who raised them can be acknowledged as their legal parents, where that is the person’s wish. I am pleased to have been able to bring forward proposals in this sensitive and complex area, which I believe will address the issues raised for those who, through no fault of their own, have been affected by Illegal Birth Registrations
The proposals are set out in the Heads of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill which I published on 11 May. I have referred the Heads of Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny and I understand that this process is now underway.
At the same time, I have commenced a consultation process with individuals who have been affected by illegal birth registrations and their views will inform finalisation of the legislation.
The IDG proposals also considered the matter of succession, and my colleague, the Minister for Justice has committed, to amending the Succession Act 1965 without delay to ensure that those affected will, for the purposes of the Act, be deemed to be the children of the people who raised them.
More generally, I am committed to continued engagement with the affected individuals on all matters of concern and to advancing the Birth Information and Tracing legislation as a matter of priority.