Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle: More missed opportunities in birth information and tracing bill

Pringle: More missed opportunities in birth information and tracing bill

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said the Government bill on birth information and tracing does not provide adopted people with unrestricted access to their birth certificates.

Deputy Pringle said: “This bill does not give adoptees full and unfettered access and any suggestion that it does is wrong.” The deputy addressed the Dáil on Thursday afternoon on the Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2022.

Deputy Pringle acknowledged adoptee groups, and in particular Claire McGettrick, “for combing through this legislation and shedding light on the hidden details in this bill that are hugely problematic”.

Deputy Pringle said: “Myself and my colleague, Catherine Connolly, introduced our Adoption (Information) Bill last March. This bill would have given adopted people complete, untampered, unredacted, unconditional access to their records. Minister Roderic O’Gorman spoke to this bill at the time and said that the Government did not oppose it but that they were going to bring forward their own ‘comprehensive legislation’ that would ‘serve the needs of adoptees and survivors’ and that would ‘deal with all of the issues pertaining to the sensitive and complex issue in a robust and comprehensive way’.

“We were led to believe that the Government would bring in legislation that was full and comprehensive, but as I read this bill today, I can’t help but feel so disappointed. Disappointed at the missed opportunity and most of all disappointed for the survivors and for the adoptees that have been fighting so hard and waiting so long on this bill, to be let down by the State once again,” he said.

Deputy Pringle said: “I want to acknowledge all of them today, because I know it hasn’t been easy. I know that this government has been dragged kicking and screaming to bring you this legislation. And after all that work, I am very sorry that you have been left with this substandard bill.”

The deputy said the Government “has once again missed the mark on this, just like they had done with the redress scheme for survivors of mother and baby homes.”

Deputy Pringle said: “I stand with all the adoptees whom this legislation affects and I will continue to fight alongside them until we get this right.”