17 February 2021
By Tom Collins
Sinn Féin has today introduced legislation in the Dáil 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.
Speaking on the Bill, Sinn Féin TD for Cork South Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said:
“Sinn Féin have today introduced the Civil Registration Amendment Bill 2021 in the Dáil 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 cruel and 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.
“Survivors have shown immense courage in sharing their stories at the Mother and Baby Homes Commission and we have a duty to listen to them and to act.
“Since the publication of the Commission’s report, 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. It’s time to ensure it happens here too.
“Survivors have already waited far too long to access their records. We cannot in good conscience allow more unnecessary and unfair 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.”