Adoption agency forced to review decision to bar access to documents

The high court has ordered an adoption agency to reconsider its
decision not to let an adopted woman see confidential documents
about her natural and adoptive parents.

Mr Justice Scott Baker ruled last week that the Nugent Care
Society must review its decision to refuse Linda Gunn-Russo access
to her adoption file.

The move follows her high court bid in May to force the society
to reveal information about the 1948 adoption it organised. In 1999
the society had refused to reveal the information to Gunn-Russo,
despite her being in touch with her birth family since 1951.

Scott Baker said: “Whatever the appropriateness of their policy,
the NCS applied it too rigidly to Miss Gunn-Russo’s application and
without giving proper consideration to the specific circumstances
of her case.”

An NCS spokesperson said: “The society will consider each of the
documents of which she does not have a copy, which, bar one, are
relating to her adoptive parents, and decide whether there are
continuing reasons for them not to be disclosed.”

He added that the society would also review its policy on the
disclosure of adoption records.

A British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering spokesperson said:
“This case will give people hope who are struggling to get access
to their records.”

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