Friday 24 November 2017

Forced adoptees call for access to files on mothers

Ed Carty

Two women who lived for years not knowing they had been forcibly adopted have called for official state records to be opened to try and trace their birth mothers.

Theresa Tinggal (58) and Maria Dumbell (42) are among tens of thousands of people sent for adoption around the 1950s after their mothers were deemed too young or unfit.

"I was handed over to my adoptive parents at two days old and then registered as their legal child," Ms Tinggal said.

"It came as a great shock when I discovered that I wasn't who I thought I was."

The Government has delayed until next year plans for new adoption legislation, which would allow people access to files to trace biological parents.

The women claim the HSE has told them they cannot release files linked to informal adoptions.

TD Clare Daly, who supports the women's cause, said: "It is not good enough to talk about guaranteeing children's rights in a new referendum if we continue to ignore children failed in the past."

Later, the HSE said it recognised the importance and sensitivity around adoption.

"Those who are looking to trace their birth families can contact tracing and information services," the agency said.

The HSE said it was important to note that it can only provide records that are held by the HSE and its predecessors.

Irish Independent

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