February 26, 2024

Kilkenny TD unveils new Bill to give Mother and Baby home survivors access to birth certs

A Kilkenny TD is putting forward legislation to allow survivors of Irish Mother and Baby homes access to their birth certificates

Deputy Kathleen Funchion, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on children, today published the Civil Registration Amendment Bill 2021. If passed, the legislation will allow any adopted person access to a copy of their birth certificate.

The Kilkenny TD published the legislation in response to the damning Mother and Baby home report released last week which uncovered a damming attitude by society, government and the Catholic Church to unmarried mothers in Ireland right up until the end of the last century.

Deputy Funchion said: “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.

“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.”

Deputy Funchion said ensuring survivors can access their own birth certificates is “a vital first step towards meeting their needs”.

She added: “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,” Deputy Funchion added.



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