Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle, Connolly bill would provide adopted persons with unconditional access to birth certificates

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, and his independent colleague, Catherine Connolly, TD, introduced a bill today that would provide adopted persons with unconditional access to birth certificates.

Addressing the Dáil, Deputy Pringle said: “This is a simple bill but it would mean so much to survivors.”

Deputy Pringle said there has been a huge show of public support and solidarity for survivors of Mother and Baby Homes, and he also credited the other opposition deputy and senator who have brought forward bills in support of adopted persons and survivors of Mother and Baby Homes.

Deputy Pringle said: “It seems that many of us were moved to take action after listening to survivors. We are keeping this hugely important issue on the agenda.”

Deputy Pringle said: “Dr Maeve O’Rourke, Ms Claire McGettrick and others from the Clann Project have been disparaged by some members of Government because of the power of survivors’ campaigns.”  He also credited the work of campaigns, including #MyRecordsMyRight, which calls for adoptees to have access to their birth certificates and to the files that were in possession of the now-dissolved Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

The bill Deputy Pringle and Deputy Connolly introduced, Adoption (Information) Bill 2021, amends section 86 of the Adoption Act 2010 to allow an tArd Chláraitheoir to provide adopted persons with access to their entry in the index that makes traceable the connection between each entry in the Adopted Children Register and the corresponding entry in the Register of Births.

The Clann Project, formed to help establish the truth of what happened to unmarried mothers and their children in 20th-century Ireland, fully endorses the three opposition bills designed to provide adopted people with unconditional access to their birth certificates.

In a statement, the Clann Project said: “We urge government and opposition TDs and senators from all parties and none to support these bills in solidarity with adopted people.”