Tuesday 8 October 2019

Birth name and place details are being redacted from the civil records of adoptees

Ireland's Child and Family Agency, Tusla, which holds many adoption and pre-adoption records, has been redacting pertinent details from their records, including from adoptees' birth certificates, when they release information to adoptees.

Adoption rights campaigners say that adoptees are being sent pages of documents, correspondence and records relating to their own lives, but which are almost entirely or even fully redacted.

The claim comes from the Collaborative Forum Report on Mother and Baby Homes, which is made up of former residents of Ireland's notorious Mother and Baby Homes. Its purpose is to ensure that those directly impacted can contribute to investigations into the Homes, and make recommendations for how survivors and their families can be helped in the future. A 90-page report from the Forum, which took more than a year to produce and which Children's Minister Dr Katherine Zappone has since (August 2019) refused to publish in full, is understood to have criticised several agencies, Tusla being one of them, and raised these issues about adoptees being denied information that used to be routinely released.

Tusla responds to such concerns by citing Section 86 of the Adoption Act 2010 and GDPR (the much-misunderstood data protection regulations) as reasons for keeping tight control over what information it releases and what it does not.

To find out more about the latest obstacles being thrown up by the state and its agencies to thwart adoptees discovering their heritage, see this Special Report from yesterday's Irish Examiner.