Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (18)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

18. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016. [22273/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016 has passed Second Stage in the Seanad. I am hoping that Committee Stage in the Seanad will be scheduled for June, and thereafter, I intend to proceed to enactment as quickly as possible

As I am sure the Deputy is aware, the Bill seeks to balance the rights to identity and to privacy, which sometimes conflict with one another.

Given the constitutional context, striking the balance between these rights is proving challenging, and has required significant engagement between my office and the Office of the Attorney General.

I am conscious of the delay with progressing the Bill.  It has been a long and arduous legislative journey but I continue to make sincere efforts to tilt the balance more strongly in favour of applicants' right to identity and access to birth information, while maintaining necessary protections for a small cohort of potentially vulnerable birth parents.

I hope I can rely on my Oireachtas colleagues support in relation to this very important piece of legislation.