Saturday 10 December 2016

Photos of my birth family were just odd, not upsetting

Claire Scott - who always knew she was adopted - set out to research adoption for her university degree and by chance came across information about her own birth family. Here, she hails the proposed new legislation on adoption but says more can still be done

Claire Scott

Published 26/07/2015 | 02:30

‘MY BIRTH MOTHER WAS ALLOWED TO CHOOSE WHO RAISED ME’: Claire Scott says she is grateful for the gift her birth mother gave her — a wonderful family. Photo: Gerry Mooney
‘MY BIRTH MOTHER WAS ALLOWED TO CHOOSE WHO RAISED ME’: Claire Scott says she is grateful for the gift her birth mother gave her — a wonderful family. Photo: Gerry Mooney

We always knew we were adopted. My sister and I can't recall a significant moment our parents sat us down and told us, but we always knew we were sisters, just not by blood. In our house, it was something that was always acknowledged and freely discussed.

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Both my parents are teachers. My mother teaches art and my father maths. My sister is older, a vet, and my opposite in almost every respect. In that way, we are a perfect fit for each other. There is a lot of love in my family, even though there are no blood ties between us. For me and for many, being adopted has no impact on the authenticity of love in a family. But unfortunately, the rules governing adoption in Ireland have impacted on the rights of adopted people like my sister and I.

Currently, under Irish law, we do not have the right to immediate access to our birth certificates. We do not have the right to immediate access to our relative family medical history or information concerning the circumstances of our adoptions. The process to ascertain this information can be lengthy and arduous, and for many people it can take years.

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