The Galway City Council is expected to endorse a supporting motion on behalf of Aitheantas - Adoptee Identity Rights, a group campaigning for open access for adoptees to their own information, at its next meeting on Monday.
This motion calls on Minister Zappone to acknowledge Adoptee Identity Rights, to allow adoptees open access to their own files on health, history and heritage, and acknowledgement of identity rights and autonomy over their identities.
Aitheantas - Adoptee Identity Rights has already amassed considerable support with county and city councils with 14 supporting motions already passed. Galway City Council will be the 15th council to pass this motion and the second city council.
Maree Ryan-O'Brien, the founder of Aitheantas, says this support is historic. "It is the first time there has been a county by county, city by city approach by any adoptee group. This is the first time an adoptee led group has taken the initiative to demand their own rights and access to information."
She stated that Aitheantas is bringing much needed focus to the real life difficulties and to the "very misunderstood and stereotyped" issue of access to information.
Aitheantas has received more than 6,000 signatures for its public petition calling on Minister Zappone to allow adoptees open access to their own information. Galway City Council will facilitate Aitheantas by having a copy of the petition available for those who wish to sign it.
Each council or city council motion, while not having a direct effect, will indicate support for the issue and the council's future position on the subject.
"Not every issue would have the standing to be brought as a motion, but Aitheantas has targeted councils as a means to effect change. The fact that Aitheantas has had such unanimous, cross party support indicates the will for change."