Adoption records and tracing legislation
Sir, – Sheila Wayman’s very welcome look at adoption highlights important issues for consideration if Ireland is ever to move on from the past (“Adoption ‘is for children, not for people who wish to be parents’”, Life, January 18th).
Patricia Carey, chief executive at the Adoption Authority of Ireland, addresses the absence of information and tracing legislation and her organisation’s inability to support adopted children finding out who they are. A “legal limbo” she calls it, an appropriate description of a very unsatisfactory state of affairs.
I was adopted in England, which changed the law, allowing children like me to see their adoption records and provided for counselling. This came about because the UK recognised the primacy in law of children’s rights.
To reassure those in Ireland who, in my view, overthink the negative effects of this issue, when I accessed my records from the Catholic Children’s Society, and traced my Irish family, the sky did not fall in, and nobody suffered a breakdown. The boost to my sense of self and my wellbeing was overwhelmingly good, and I built a relationship with my mother despite her being told I would never be able to find her.
On balance, allowing children access to their records is the right thing to do.
And it is long overdue. – Yours, etc,