The Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration is inviting written submissions from interested groups and individuals on the General Scheme of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2021 as part of its scrutiny of the proposed legislation.
Commenting on today’s call for submissions, Committee Cathaoirleach and Sinn Féin spokesperson for Children, Kathleen Funchion TD said:
“It is so important that adopted people come forward and be part of the process in shaping this historic legislation. Earlier this week I welcomed the announcement by Minister Roderic O’Gorman that he was publishing this Bill and referring it to the Committee for scrutiny.
“As a first step, the Committee decided we should seek the views of interested groups and individuals. These written submissions will then be considered by the Committee as part of the scrutiny process. We also plan to hold public meetings to engage with relevant stakeholders.
“Members of the Committee are in complete agreement that we need to prioritise our consideration of the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Bill. It is important that the proposed Bill receives comprehensive parliamentary scrutiny by the Committee.
“The Committee is committed to bringing closure and justice for the survivors of Mother and Baby Homes and we believe prioritising this Bill is a key part of this.”
The purpose of the Bill is to enshrine into law the importance of an individual knowing their origins. The Bill proposes a right to access birth certificates, birth and early life information for people who have questions in relation to their origins, and also all people who were adopted, boarded out, the subject of an illegal birth and others with questions in relation to their identity.
The legislation also proposes the establishment of a comprehensive Tracing Service and a statutory Contact Preference Register to support people wishing to make contact or share information.
It is important to note that the Committee is assessing the proposed legislation which is currently before it and not any other document.
Submissions should only be sent to [email protected]. The deadline for receipt of submissions is 1pm on Wednesday, 9 June 2021.