January 19, 2021
Kathleen Funchion TD publishes legislation to give survivors access to their birth certificates

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has today published legislation to give survivors of Mother and Baby Homes access to their birth records. 

The Civil Registration Amendment Bill 2021 will enable any adopted person to access a copy of their birth certificate.

Launching the legislative amendment today, Teachta Funchion said:

“Today I am publishing the Civil Registration Amendment Bill 2021 which will give adopted people a legal right to obtain a copy of their own birth certificate.

“Survivors have spoken of their deep distress at the current unfair system which refuses to give them access to their own records. 

“They have expressed time and again how current processes see their requests delayed and refused, when they are simply seeking fundamental information about their own lives.

“The publication of the Mother and Baby Homes report last week has shone a light on the deeply harmful system of institutionalisation which has caused pain and trauma to thousands of women and families.

“Survivors have shown immense courage in sharing their stories and we have a duty to listen to them and to act.

“In the past week, survivors have heard sympathetic words from the Government, but they need more than kind words, they need action to address their needs. 

“Ensuring survivors can access their own birth certificates is a vital first step towards meeting their needs. The right to access records is already in place in the north and in Britain. 

“Survivors have already waited far too long to access their records. We cannot in good conscience allow more delays to stand in their path. This needs to be resolved now, with no more delays or excuses.

“Nothing can undo the horrific harm of the institutions, but we can do the right thing now by ensuring survivors aren’t still subjected to unnecessary distress. 

“It is in the government’s power to put this right. All TDs from all parties need to do the right thing and back this legislation.”

 The legislation is available to view as a PDF at this link

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