Labour TD's fight to tear down wall of secrecy
SHE is widely regarded as one of the sharpest minds in the Dail, but Labour Dublin-West TD Joan Burton found tracing her birth mother incredibly difficult.
Her quest began after marrying DIT lecturer Pat Carroll in 1975. But she met a wall of secrecy. The birth of her daughter Aoife reinvigorated the search.
"It is one of the most natural things in the world to want to fill in the blanks about your past."
The tracing process stalled again until Ms Burton met the Adopted People's Association.
"Finally I made contact in the US with my mother's brother. It turned out she had been alive when I got married and when my daughter was born, but she had died in early 1990.
"I found out that I was born in Carlow and I met my mother's relatives there. I had some information about my father but he died before I could meet him."
The tracing process helped ease her urge to know more about her past.
But it also left scars and Ms Burton believes legislation should be changed to make the search easier.