Wednesday, 2 March 2022
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
144. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the number of meetings he has had with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission concerning the Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2022. [12155/22]
I have not met the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) specifically on the Birth Information and Tracing Bill though I listened carefully to their submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee as part of the pre-legislative scrutiny process. I am satisfied that, where possible, matters raised by IHREC will be provided for in the legislation or through the implementation process.
I note that IHREC specifically raised the issue of adequate resources being in place upon enactment and, as I have confirmed previously, significant extra resources have been provided to both Tusla and the Adoption Authority to ensure readiness for implementation. IHREC also submitted views on the importance of providing timelines for processing applications and this matter is currently under active consideration by my Department.
I also noted the IHREC position on identity rights for children under 16 and I confirm my commitment to advancing work on provisions for children under 16 separate to the Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2022. As the Deputy will know the impetus for this legislation is the recognised, urgent need to provide access to adult adoptees, particularly in recognition that many of these have waited decades.