the birth (information and tracing) act is now law
The Birth (Information and Tracing) Act is now law. Unfortunately, the vast majority of our concerns were ignored by the Minister and his Department. The Government portal to access services under the legislation is available here.
COMING SOON: The Clann Project, Adoption Rights Alliance and Article Eight Advocacy will soon publish a new information guide to assist people with navigating the legislation. Resources (including guides to obtaining birth certificates and records) are immediately available here. Peer support is available here.
UPDATE, 10th march 2022
committee stage concluded
Last night, Committee Stage of the Bill concluded. The Minister did not accept even one amendment out of over 300 tabled by the opposition. We will resubmit all Clann Project amendments in advance of Report Stage. Transcripts of debates are available here.
correspondence with the data protection commission
On 2nd March the Data Protection Commission responded to Clann and Article Eight Advocacy’s letter of 10th February. While the DPC’s letter gives us a greater sense of the office’s understanding of the anticipated workings of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill, it unfortunately raises a number of further questions. We remain concerned that the Bill is in breach of adopted people’s rights enshrined under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and the GDPR. For further details see our letter sent to the DPC today.
UPDATE, 28th february 2022
BRIEFING NOTE AND OVERVIEW PUBLISHED
Today, the Clann Project and Article Eight Advocacy have published our Briefing Note on the Birth (Information and Tracing) Bill 2022.
We have also published an online overview of our criticism and commentary of the Bill, which is available here.
Having conducted a detailed analysis of the Bill, our position remains the same. The Birth Information and Tracing Bill is deeply flawed and if passed in its current format, it will do more harm than good. The Minister and his Department have not addressed the concerns of affected people either in the Bill or the Minister’s Committee Stage amendments.
UPDATE, 18th february 2022
COMMITTEE STAGE DELAYED
Committee Stage of the Bill was originally scheduled to commence on 23rd February, but has been delayed until 2nd March due to the high volume of amendments received. Over 1,200 amendments were submitted to the Oireachtas Bills Office, which is well above the average number of amendments normally received. For example:
- Total amendments in 2019: 2,660
- Total amendments in 2020: 1,620
- Total amendments in 2021: 4,283*
*There was a significant number of Bills in 2021.
UPDATE, 10th february 2022
clann and article eight advocacy write to the data protection commissioner
The Clann Project and Article Eight Advocacy have written to the Data Protection Commissioner outlining our concerns about the Bill and urging her to intervene to ensure that the legislation is GDPR compliant prior to enactment.
The letter can be accessed here.
UPDATE, 28th January 2022
dr maeve o’rourke analysis of the Birth (information and tracing) bill
The Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2022: An Analysis. Listing numerous Joint Oireachtas Committee recommendations which the Bill ignores, and 10 key injustices the Bill will cause if allowed to progress in its current form.
European Commission Complaint
The Clann Project and Article Eight Advocacy have submitted a complaint to the European Commission about the Birth (Information and Tracing) Bill, which contains multiple breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation.
The complaint can be accessed here.
birth (information and tracing) bill explainer
UPDATE, 21st January 2022
Opinion piece on the Birth (Information and Tracing) Bill by Clann Project Co-Director Claire McGettrick in thejournal.ie.
UPDATE, 12th January 2022
Minister Roderic O’Gorman published the Birth (Information and Tracing) Bill on 12th January 2022.
The Bill can be downloaded from this link.
The Minister’s press release and other materials are available here.
UPDATE, 11th January 2022
Minister Roderic O’Gorman has this evening announced that the Birth (Information and Tracing) Bill will be published by tomorrow morning. In advance of the publication of the Bill, Clann has written to all TDs and Senators reminding them of the minimum standards that must be met in order to ensure that this Bill represents a true measure of justice for people affected by forced family separation in Ireland.
Click here to read the letter to TDs and Senators.
On 11th May 2021, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, TD, published the General Scheme of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2021.
The Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration invited written submissions from interested groups and individuals on the General Scheme of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2021 as part of its scrutiny of the proposed legislation.
Click here for the Children’s Committee recommendations which were published on 14th December 2021.
See below for the Clann Project and Adoption Rights Alliance submissions on the bill:
Clann Project Submission to the Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration on the General Scheme of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill, 23rd June 2021
Opening Statement to the Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration on the General Scheme of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill, 29th June 2021
Adoption Rights Alliance Submission to the Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration on the General Scheme of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill, 24th June 2021
other documentation relating to the bill
Click here to download the General Scheme of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2021.
Click here to download the FAQ on the Heads of Bill.
Click here to download follow up documentation from Minister O’Gorman’s ‘Birth Information and Tracing Consultation Meeting’.