Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (642)

Gary Gannon

Ceist:

642. Deputy Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration his views on whether the existing situation regarding access to records of forced family separation is highly problematic and that alongside adopted persons that are being denied their own file, mothers are also being denied their own data and relatives of deceased infants are being denied information regarding the fate and whereabouts of their family member (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27311/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The details supplied by the Deputy include an article which refers to correspondence with the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

In accordance with section 9 of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004, the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes is independent in the performance of its functions. It must operate within its terms of reference and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs does not have any role in this regard. The Commission is due to submit its final report at the end of next month.

As the Deputy will know, the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016 has lapsed and I am currently considering how best to legislate in this important area. In that context, I understand the anguish that the lack of such access, or limited access, can create. Access for adopted people and others to information in relation to their origins will be a primary consideration for me, in my decisions on how to progress this complex and emotive issue.