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Press Release, 14th May 2015 – for immediate release

Adoption Rights Alliance Calls for Yes Vote in Marriage Equality Referendum

Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA), which advocates for equal human and civil rights for those affected by Ireland's closed, secret, forced adoption system, is stating its unequivocal support for a Yes vote in the upcoming marriage equality referendum. 

We in ARA campaign for child-centred, ethical practices in adoption and assisted human reproduction (AHR) and in our view, the rights of children have been hijacked by those calling for a No vote in the referendum. We are outraged at certain individuals and groups who attempt to pit one minority group against another in citing adoption issues as a matter for concern in this referendum.  Firstly, this constitutional amendment is about marriage and has nothing to do with children.  Moreover, children’s rights in adoption and AHR are best protected through adequate legislation and regulation in those areas.  We also wish to assure those who profess to defend us that the sexuality of our adoptive parents is immaterial compared to the fact that adopted people have no automatic right to their birth certificates and files.  Finally, these individuals also appear to forget that there are many members of the adoption community who also happen to be lesbian or gay. 

Undoubtedly, much work remains to be done to protect children’s rights in adoption and AHR; however those in the ‘No camp’ are more of a hindrance than a help to those of us who actually campaign on the issues.  Though this matter is not related to the referendum, we wish to point out that heterosexual people also avail of adoption and assisted human reproductive services and those who exclusively focus on lesbian and gay parents are disingenuous in the extreme.  Simply put, homophobia has no place in discussions around children’s rights.  During the passage of the Children and Family Relationships Bill through the Oireachtas, the unfair focus on LGBT parents resulted in the real issues surrounding children’s rights being lost, because the debate was dominated by those who operate from a different agenda and who have no track record in campaigning for identity rights for adopted people.  

For our organisation this referendum is about more than marriage – it concerns equality for all our nation’s citizens and frankly, equality should never be a matter for debate. As adopted people, we were separated from our natural mothers because only one type of family was protected under our Constitution and if this referendum is passed, it will be an important milestone in consigning that version of our country to the history books. As adopted people we continue to be treated unequally and thus we in Adoption Rights Alliance are proud to stand in solidarity with the LGBT community in urging a Yes vote on May 22nd.   


Email:  info@adoptionrightsalliance.com

Website:  www.adoptionrightsalliance.com

“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning . . . and the most disquieting loneliness." 

Alex Haley, Author of Roots 





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