Give all Irish adoptees a right to their birth certs and establish a proper information, tracing and reunion service to support adopted people and their parents.
This petition had 1,671 supporters
I recently wrote about what it was like growing up as an adopted child and not knowing anything about my birth mother until I was twenty-nine years of age.
Since then, I have been overwhelmed with emails and letters from other adoptees sharing their experiences.
Some of their personal circumstances are very different to mine. However, their pain, sadness and anxiety are all too familiar. The pain of not knowing who you really are and where you came from. The sadness that descends on you each birthday and Mothers Day when you wonder where your mother is and if she’s ok. And the anxiety that grips you every time a doctor asks if there is a serious genetic medical condition in your family and you have to tell him that you don’t know.
Having finally met my birth mother a few years ago, I now have answers to these questions. I am also fortunate to have had the chance to get to know her, my half siblings and the rest of my second family.
However, I am one of a tiny minority of adoptees who have been able to find their mothers through the National Adoption Contact Preference Register. Wihout a right to their birth certs, thousands of Irish adoptees will never be able to get even the basic information about themselves that most people take for granted.
Adopted people in England have had a legal right to their birth certs, listing their original names and those of their birth mothers, since 1975. Forty years later, Irish adoptees still don't have this right.
Successive Irish Governments have claimed that the reason for denying adopted people this information is to protect the privacy of their mothers. The impression given is that women gave up their babies years ago, haven't looked back since and don't want to be reminded of the past. This couldn't be further from the truth. As the movie 'Philomena' powerfully depicts, many women have spent years trying to trace their adopted children, only to be lied to by religious orders and adoption agencies and refused information by the State. In Philomena's case, her son had died by the time she finally located him. He had also spent years trying to find her before his death.
Ireland's history of secretive, and often forced, adoptions is not just a shameful aspect of our past. It continues to cause great pain to adopted people and their mothers to this day. It is time for the Irish Government to do the right thing by giving all adoptees a right to their birth certs and setting up an independent support service to help adopted people and mothers who wish to reunite.
Please support our campaign for justice by signing this petition and encouraging your friends to do so.
Today: Senator Averil is counting on you
Senator Averil Power needs your help with “The Minister for Children & The Irish Government: Give all Irish adoptees a right to their birth certs and establish a proper information, tracing and reunion service to support adopted people and their parents.”. Join Senator Averil and 1,670 supporters today.