After the Maurice McCabe Scandal, there are People Working in Tusla, Who should be in Prison?

Posted by
Bernard Gloster

Adoptee rights group says Tusla is ‘unfit for purpose’

-16/06/2021 

Tusla is ‘unfit for purpose’ and a new agency is needed to oversee a new system of information and tracing for adoptees, it has been claimed.

Adoptee rights group Aitheantas said an apology from the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, for the ‘hurt’ caused to adoptees was welcome, but that Tusla no longer had the trust of adoptees.Advertisement

The apology was given by Tusla chief executive Bernard Gloster during an appearance before the Oireachtas Committee on Children on Tuesday.

Bernard Gloster
An apology was given by Tusla chief executive Bernard Gloster during an appearance before the Oireachtas Committee on Children on Tuesday. Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

He said: ‘I recognise that many people were left with hurt and a sense of being let down by the State in their search for answers to the most basic questions.

‘To whatever extent any person attributes that hurt to their dealings with Tusla, I offer a sincere apology.

‘Whether limited by law or any other circumstance, it would never be our wish that any person would be left with such disappointment in their dealings with the Agency.’

Tusla Headquarters
The Tusla headquarters in Dublin. : Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

However, Aitheantas founder Maree Ryan-O’Brien, responded: ‘This apology is an admission of wrongdoing, and while it is welcome in that regard, it just further emphasises the urgent need for a different agency, separate to Tusla and the Adoption Authority of Ireland, to take matters forward.

‘It is not acceptable to have the same agencies preside over a new system of information and tracing for adoptees, in order for adoptees to ratify their constitutional right to identity.’

She added: ‘In light of this apology, we reiterate our call for a new agency and a new social work model to handle all matters relating to information and tracing, and all matters concerning historical domestic adoption.’

Bernard Gloster
Tusla chief executive Bernard Gloster apologised to those who have in the past been frustrated in their efforts to trace their identities through Tusla. Pic: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Ms Ryan-O’Brien said Tusla’s social work model had failed in its dealings with adoptees, and was one ‘which adoptees no longer trust and cannot be expected to re-engage with’.

‘This apology underlines how unfit for purpose the Child and Family Agency Tusla is, in the context of dealing with adoptees and their attempts to access information,’ she said.

She cited one adoptee’s experience of their interaction with the agencies currently entrusted with adoptee’s personal information.

Ms Ryan-O’Brien noted that Mr Gloster had reiterated the findings of the report of the Commission of Inquiry into Mother and Baby Homes, in blaming the law for the behaviour of Tusla. Pic: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

She said that they had described it as ‘an absolute nightmare… stonewalled and lied to at every turn’.

Ms Ryan-O’Brien noted that Mr Gloster had reiterated the findings of the report of the Commission of Inquiry into Mother and Baby Homes, in blaming the law for the behaviour of Tusla.

‘However, as we have stated, many times, it was not the restrictions in the law that caused most offence to adoptees, it was the behaviour of many social workers and other Tusla staff which has caused most hurt,’ she said.

Adoptees will have far greater legal rights to their birth certificates and early life information under new legislation proposed last month.

The Birth Information and Tracing bill, if passed, would allow an adopted person to obtain this information, even without the consent of their birth parent.

The bill is currently undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny.

Mr Gloster also apologised to those who have in the past been frustrated in their efforts to trace their identities through Tusla.

He said: ‘I am acutely aware of the expressed hurt and distress of many in that debate, most notably adopted people, those with a false, illegal or incorrect birth registration and many who were nursed out, boarded out or placed in pre-adoptive foster care.’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s