Adoptees' agony | 

Petition for adoptees to access birth certificates gathers overs 17,000 signatures

“Signing this petition is a practical act of solidarity with adopted people and survivors and presents an opportunity to do something practical to help them right now."

Brendan Fernando Kelly Palenque

A petition for adopted people to have a right to their birth certificate has gained over 17,000 signatures in the wake of the mother and baby institutions report being released.

The petition, which was set up by activist Izzy Kamikaze, asks for a single paragraph amendment to be made to the Civil Registration Act to give adopted people the right to access their birth certificates.

The petition’s descriptions reads: “The long-awaited publication of the report of the Commission of Enquiry into Mother & Baby Homes has caused great distress to adopted people and survivors of Mother & Baby Homes for its failure to practically address the problems faced by adopted people and by birth mothers.”

“Signing this petition is a practical act of solidarity with adopted people and survivors and presents an opportunity to do something practical to help them right now."

The petition was shared in a Facebook post by Adrienne Corless, daughter of Catherine Corless, the historian who is known for her work in compiling the information concerning the deaths of children at the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Galway.

Childrens socks at the grotto on an unmarked mass grave at the site of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home run by the Bon Secours sister (Niall Carson/PA)

In the Facebook post, Adrienne Corless said there was so much to process concerning the final report.

“In one way: at least we have the report now, flaws and all,” she said. “It is enormous: hundreds of pages of evidence and testimony, all credit to the courage of those who contributed.”

“I hope there has been healing in coming forward and I hope today’s apologies continue that process.”

She went on to describe her mother’s reaction to the report.

“Mam was deflated and dejected, to say the least: so much so that Ryan Tubridy phoned her after seeing her on the 6 o’clock news,” she said.

She went on to say that: “Adopted people still await legislation to access their birth certs.”

“There is no need for delay. As Claire Byrne said on her show today, they passed legislation regarding the banks overnight.”

Ms Corless also discussed how the wait to excavate Tuam still continues.

“As an archaeologist myself, I still don’t understand why we need this new and seemingly extensive legislation to lift them, nor does any archaeologist I know.”

“It will be a dreadfully sad job and only a select few archaeologists will be able for it - and harrowing as it will be, in the scheme of things it is not a massive job. This is what archaeologists do.”

On a final note, she discussed the urgency of going through the Tuam burial grounds.

“There is therefore still no rest for any of us whilst the babies still lie in sewage tanks,” she said.

“You might have seen this picture of the baby shoe from the test excavation. It haunts me. We can’t wait another year to get them out of there.”

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