October 28, 2021
News

Kilkenny people invited to help shape ‘historic legislation’

A local TD has urged people to “come forward” and be part of shaping “historic legislation” to give everyone a legal right to access their birth certs.

The Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration has agreed to invite 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.

Carlow Kilkenny TD Kathleen Funchion said: “It is so important that adopted people across Carlow and Kilkenny comes forward and be part of the process in shaping this historic legislation. Earlier this week Minister Roderic O’Gorman referred this Bill 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.”

Deputy Funchion, who is Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for children, said the purpose of the Bill is “to enshrine into law the importance of an individual knowing their origins”.

The Carlow-Kilkenny TD added: “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.”

Anyone who owuld like to make a submission is asked to email tracing@oireachtas.ie. The deadline for receipt of submissions is 1pm on Wednesday, June 9. 

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