The Sunday Independent revealed details of a leaked report by the Collaborative Forum on Mother and Baby Home. A report outgoing Minister for Children Affairs Katherine Zappone had refused to publish.
It detailed episodes of mixed race children who were subjected to “racial profiling” and ‘stripped of their identities’.
Tusla, which controls access to birth records from mother and baby homes and adoption societies, is accused of withholding personal information from applicants detained as children across various institutions on the grounds that to release it “could cause harm to the wider family members”.
The outgoing Minister for Children is criticised for transferring records from mother and baby homes to the child and family agency as “astonishing”, “regressive” and “insensitive”.
The “levels of anger, frustration and discontent” towards Tusla from survivors trying to access their records has “escalated to record numbers”, the report says. Their experiences of trying to find out who they are have been “damaging and re-traumatising” for the most vulnerable survivors.
The Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016, which is much criticised in the report, fell by the wayside shortly before the change of government.
The legislation attempted to address the rights of adoptees to their identity, while balancing the rights of natural parents to not be contacted. In the end, it could not be done. The minister was advised of constitutional issues with allowing adopted people unrestricted access to their birth information and attempts at reaching consensus failed.
The spirit of inclusivity in which the collaborative forum was founded has given way to feelings of exclusion.
Last week: Tusla And The Silencing