Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Questions (86)

Anne Rabbitte


86. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) (No. 2) Bill. [43241/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

As the Deputy knows, there are strong views on the privacy provisions in the Adoption (Information & Tracing) Bill, 2016 and to the revised scheme set out in my proposed amendments for Committee Stage.

My legal advice is that there must be some protection of birth parents' constitutional right to privacy reflected in the legislation. There are two rights at play, the right to identity and the right to privacy, and legislation must seek to harmonise these rights. However, I fully recognise this advice is contrary to the desire of advocates for unrestricted access to identity information and to birth certificates.

During the summer, I held a number of consultations with Members of the Oireachtas and with stakeholder groups, to seek to reach a consensus which will allow the legislation to progress. Achieving consensus is proving very challenging, within the existing constitutional framework.  I am considering the options now available, and I hope to be in a position to revert to Oireachtas members and stakeholders before the end of 2019.

Question No. 87 answered with Question No. 78.