Originally Posted by kildarejohn
Pedro - thanks for your reply. No doubt you are correct about inheritance law, but my point was on a totally different topic, i.e. Equal Status Act.
Vetch - you are correct that the ESA could not use the term "illegitimate", but it could have referred to non-marital children, and suitably defined the term.
My point is that if the ESA had been drafted to protect non-marital children, then the thousands of people like Hermy and Srmf5's friend (see posts 167&168 above) could use the Act to force institutions to stop discriminating against them and release the info they want.
Actually in the case of the lady I know who was adopted, the story that was provided was that she wasn't born out of wedlock. Her father was supposed to have died when her mother was five months pregnant and had been recent immigrants with two children. She was baptised and then given up for adoption when she was about a week old, as she felt she could not care for this child adequately, and planned to return to Ireland with her two other children. Two children had been left in Ireland with relatives while they were in America. The mother was unable to produce a birth certificate for the child or death certificate for the father.
As far as the orphanage knew, she was born to a married couple. However, there is uncertainty whether that was actually the case since there are discrepancies with the records. She was baptised and had her birth registered under two different surnames. The father died a year after she was born rather than before she was born and the family remained in America. Based on records, it seems unlikely that her mother's husband was the father since the date when she would have been conceived, the husband was already in America while the mother was still in Ireland. Based on the hint of the surname not sounding Irish, it seems as if the mother used her maiden name when the child was given up for adoption.
In that case, they're not discriminating because she's a non-marital child (even if
she may have been born out of wedlock). I do think that the adoption records are sealed due to privacy reasons for the mother who may not want to be found and identified. However, that reason is clearly redundant when the adoptee is in her 90s and is just enforced because it's the law.