Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children Kathleen Funchion TD has called on the Taoiseach and Minister for Children to immediately implement recommendations from the Government’s own Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Professor Conor O’Mahony’s report into illegal adoption practices in this State.
The report calls for a full State apology, a thorough investigation to determine the scale of illegal adoptions, correction of the birth register and for the Birth Information and Tracing legislation to allow full and unqualified access to personal information as a matter of urgency.
Teachta Funchion said:
“Professor O’Mahony’s report clearly sets out what the State must do to finally uncover the scale of illegal adoptions in this State.
“For decades now, adopted people have been calling for a full and comprehensive investigation into the practices of agencies and individuals involved in the adoption trade in Ireland. They also called on the State to take responsibility for the part it played. However, it wasn’t until RTÉ Investigates brought some heat on the issue late last year that the Government took some action.
“I welcomed at the time, news that Professor O’Mahony had been asked to investigate and produce a report and I also welcome today’s report.
“I think it was a shame that a television programme spurred the Government into action, rather than the repeated calls by those affected to uncover how successive governments covered up, allowing the most egregious human rights violations.
“The State was aware of this criminal practice; they knew for decades and did nothing.
“The offer of €3,000 as a once off payment for those affected is an insult. This, accompanied by the deeply flawed Birth Information and Tracing Legislation currently before the Children’s Committee, is for many another disappointing blow, and all too familiar for many survivors.
“Sinn Féin echo calls by Professor O’Mahony for a centralised depository for all adoption files in one location, to include files that are currently in private ownership and for this work to be overseen by specialist tracing professionals.
“I sincerely hope that the Government take these recommendations on board, and that they act to uncover any criminal activity including those responsible.”