The success of the film Philomena has lead to a ‘significant increase’ in the number of people trying to trace their birth parents, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald has told the Daíl.
She said that the film, which is based on the struggles of Philomena Lee to make contact with her son, who was adopted against her will, had acted as a “catalyst” for the increased numbers of queries to the Adoption Authority.
Ms Lee and the Adoption Rights Alliance have set up the Philomena Project, which aims to change existing legislation by calling on the State to grant access to adoption files for both in-country and Irish-US adopted people.
According to the Irish Times, Susan Lohan, co-founder of the Adoption Rights Alliance, accused successive governments including the current one of hiding behind a 1998 Supreme Court judgement which stated that adopted people had no absolute right to know who their natural parents are.
“Successive governments have used this as the basis for blanket refusal. They will not release what they call identifying information, only non-identifying information.”