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Having lobbied the Irish government for the right to access files an online petition had been set up at www.petitiononline.com/tinggal1 which has now expired. Although we collected 1800 signatures within a three month period in 2012 and handed these into the then Minister for children Frances Fitzgerald they have never been acknowledged. The Irish government stance on this can be seen as 'Deny till they die' but for us the denial of our identity is a gross miscarriage of justice. We still campaign relentlessly for justice. We are now being excluded from the 'Commission of Investigation'.
It is our basic human right to know where we came from. With the release of the film 'Philomena' it has attracted worldwide attention. With the launch of the 'Philomena Project', set up to shame the Irish government into opening secret records on 60,000 forced adoptions, this is the time to have our voices heard. It is not new however. We have been campaigning for access to records for the past 5 years which involved the submission of 1800 signatures to the Minister for Children in 2012 which was subsequently ignored However, this is not the first time that the government has been called on to release records. This was followed up by a meeting by ‘Adopted Illegally Ireland ‘ with Frances Fitzgerald the following September, supported by Adoption Rights Now and Adoption Rights Alliance. We were assured that all records would be collated including church records. I have so far received one item of correspondence from Frances Fitzgerald stating that it was being looked into. Now that Philomena herself has called for the release of records perhaps the Irish government will at last take note, take their heads out of the sand and acknowledge these illegal adoptions, which is what ‘Philomena’s was and give us the right to an identity which is a basic human right denied to thousands of adopted people in Ireland. I hope that ‘Philomena’ will not be ignored in the way that we have by the Irish Government and that perhaps within another five years we will have positive results for all adoptees, with the opening of these vital records. Let’s hope that ‘Philomena’s’ story is at last the catalyst for change which will bring Ireland in line with the rest of Europe and into the 21st century.
We, the adopted people of the world, who walk alone not knowing who we are, who have provided so many childless families with a child, demand the same human rights as any other human being - knowing where we came from Grainne Mason- taken from Adopted Rights Alliance
SEARCH FOR AN IDENTITY - Ger Willis
For generations, most adoptees were told or assumed, if they were told nothing at all-that they should view their adoptive parents backgrounds as their own. They did that, and for the most part they still do, because it feels right and good to embrace every aspect of to embrace every aspect of the family in which we grow up.
Finally then Adoptees will begin to share equal rights to this little thing called "Life"
Tony Gorman -