14 Jun 2021, 15.30
The Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality, Integration and Youth will meet tomorrow, Tuesday, 15 June, to begin Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2021.
The meeting at 3.30pm will be broadcast from Committee Room 2 of Leinster House and will hear from:
· Representatives from TUSLA – Bernard Gloster, Chief Executive Officer, Cormac Quinlan, Director of Transformation and Policy, and Siobhan Mugan, National Manager for Adoption;
· Representatives from The Adoption Authority of Ireland – Orlaith Traynor, Chairperson, and Patricia Carey, Chief Executive Officer; and
· Conor O’Mahony – Special Rapporteur on Child Protection.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Committee Cathaoirleach Deputy Kathleen Funchion said: “The Committee is committed to bringing closure and justice for the survivors of Mother and Baby Homes and Members have agreed to carry out the pre-legislative scrutiny of this Bill as matter of priority. We have sought the views of interested groups and individuals and these written submissions are being considered by the Committee, while we are now beginning a series of public meetings to engage with relevant stakeholders. As part of that process, the Committee looks forward to engaging with TUSLA, the Adoption Authority of Ireland and Mr O’Mahoney on the scrutiny of this important legislation.”
The purpose of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2021 is to enshrine into law the importance of an individual knowing their origins. 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.
It is important to note that the Committee is assessing the proposed legislation which is currently before it and not any other document.
The Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality, Integration and Youth has 14 Members, nine from the Dáil and five from the Seanad.
The meeting in Committee Room 2 can be viewed live on Oireachtas.ie.
Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.