People who have been adopted from mothers ’and babies’ homes say they will “fight” for changes in a new repair scheme, described by some as “discriminatory” and “too little, too late”.
The Minister of Children, Roderic O’Gorman, announced on Tuesday the details of the long-awaited regime, said that all mothers who have spent time in institutions will be entitled to payments ranging from 5,000 to 65,000 euros, depending on how long they have been there .
The stipulation that children must spend at least six months in a mother’s and baby’s home in order to be eligible for repair, however, has left the adopted survivors “devastated,” they say.
Clodagh Malone, founder of Beyond Adoption, said the survivors were “at the bottom of the pile again.
“It’s all a matter of politics and the political will just isn’t there. The Government knows that many survivors in a few years will disappear. Some of them were hoping to get that little pound to bury themselves … I’m just shaking with rage.”
Under the scheme, there will be an improved medical card for all people residing in a home for more than six months, and a paycheck for women residing in certain institutions for more than three months and committing to so-called commercial work.
All children who have been in an institution for six months or more and who have not previously received repairs will be entitled to payment depending on the length of their stay.
Children who have been sent to live with families or who have been “embarked” will not be eligible unless they have spent six months in a home. The department acknowledged Tuesday that it would be “very disappointing” for some.
He said the decision was made because not all the children who were interned were subjected to abuse and therefore every application should be judged “case by case”. He said the proposed scheme “does not cater to such individualized assessments”.
The Department of Children said 34,000 survivors would be eligible for economic payments at an estimated cost of 800 million euros.
About 19,000 people will be entitled to an improved medical card. Survivors who now live abroad will also be entitled to a payment.
Applications for the scheme will open in late 2022, and no payments are expected until 2023. Survivors say it will be “too little, too late” for many, especially for aging mothers, and ask for interim payments as promised to survivors of the mother. and baby homes in Northern Ireland.
On Monday, the Stormont executive announced that survivors would receive immediate repair payments as an investigation is established into single mothers ’homes.