Cuirim fáilte roimh an deis cúpla focal a rá faoin mBille seo. Is Bille thar a bheith díreach agus simplí é. Is é seo an tríú Bille ar an ábhar sin atá os comhair na Dála. Léiríonn sé sin cé chomh tábhachtach is atá an t-ábhar seo. Tá cearta bunúsacha i gceist. Chinnteodh an Bille go mbeadh rochtain ag daoine atá uchtaithe ar a gcuid eolais phearsanta.
My colleague, Deputy Pringle, has laid out the Bill. It is straightforward and provides for access to birth certificates for adopted persons. I struggle for words that something as basic as this remains contentious in the 21st century. We are 20 years from a particular group on the ground asking for legislation. Prior to that, in 1984, we had a committee which reported that, even in 1984, it was a basic human right to give basic information to adopted people who came looking for it, though the majority of that committee wanted it not to be retrospective. It has been discussed in the Supreme Court and teased out in different courts on many occasions, particularly in the Supreme Court in a 1998 case.
On top of that, we have had many reports, the latest being yesterday's report, in relation to illegal adoptions. It was a scoping exercise and I emphasize that. It set out to scope the nature of the problem and of the files. The narrative that talks about no false registrations being found is a false narrative.
On the basic right to information, the rapporteur for child protection went out on a limb in 2015 and said the right to access the birth certificate is a minimum core of the right to identity. In order to comply with our international human rights law obligations, this should be an automatic entitlement of every adoptee with no exceptions or qualifications.
I have given the Minister, Deputy O'Gorman, the benefit of the doubt and I do not doubt his bona fides. I know he will come forward with comprehensive legislation but we need action in relation to this aspect where people adopted as children who come forward looking for basic information should have it as of right. That is what this Bill and the Bill from Sinn Féin earlier today are about. I thank that party for bringing it forward. I presume that is what the Bill Senator Bacik is bringing forward is about as well.
Can we take action now to restore trust? Trust is at an all-time low given the way people on the ground have been treated in relation to the commission's report, the leak and the failure to give the report, not to mention the language used.
The language yesterday in "A Shadow Cast Long" and the report is excellent. It is respectful, it finds facts, is well-written and is set out very clearly, whether one agrees with it or not. I ask that the Bill move onto the next Stage.