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Scandal of illegal adoptions warrants immediate government action - Mary Lou McDonald TD

3 March, 2021 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that tonight's RTÉ Investigates programme was a powerful and devastating exposé of the scandal of illegal adoptions and the battle that adopted people are still fighting to access their own information.

She has said that there can be no more delays in legislating to provide for access to information and that next week the Dáil can take the first step in righting these grievous wrongs by passing legislation to give all adopted people the right to access their birth certs and personal information.

Teachta McDonald said:

"Tonight's RTÉ Investigates programme has shed a light on the scandal of illegal adoptions and the impact they have had on the lives of adopted people and their families for decades. It was a powerful and devastating exposé of the scandal of illegal adoptions.

"It is a scandal that represents a grievous wrong in the State's history; a wrong that continues today as people continue to battle agencies of the State to get access to their own information.

"The government's own review of the practice has found evidence of illegal adoptions in multiple organisations. We need a transparent and inclusive investigation that captures the full extent of this scandal and Ireland’s adoption system as a whole.

"Assisting those impacted must be at the forefront of the government's agenda. The continued failure to afford adopted people access to their own information is unacceptable and it is wrong.

"The government’s commitment to enact legislation to help all adopted people to discover the truth about their birth is welcome and we hope that the delays and let downs of the past will not be repeated. But one step we can and must take immediately is to pass legislation to give all adopted people a legal right to obtain a copy of their birth certificate.

"Sinn Féin have published this legislation and this Bill will be brought before the Dáil next week. This should be a constructive process and I would urge the government to support this. There can be no further delays."

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