The Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman has not accepted an amendment to the redress scheme for survivors of mother-and-baby institutions, despite pleas from opposition TDs in the Dáil.

The Mother and Baby Institutions Bill is going through its final stages in the Dáil tonight.

Members of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home Alliance and two men who were boarded out as children, James Sugrue and Peter Mulryan, are in the visitors' gallery watching proceedings.

It is estimated that 40% of those who spent time in the institutions will not be paid redress.

They include children up to six months old, mixed race children and children who were boarded out.

Campaigners and survivors of the institutions say the scheme is exclusionary and that it is pitting survivors against each other.

Opposition TDs were unified in the view that the approach of the Government is a cost-saving measure.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett described the scheme as arbitrary, by including some people and excluding others through a league table which "commodifies suffering".

He pointed out that he was born in a mother-and-baby home, but he did not know how long he was there, which he said was irrelevant because the primal wound was separating a mother and a child, which he said "has a lifelong effect".

"Everyone had a crime committed against them from day one when they were torn from the arms of their mother or their mother torn from their arms ... their lives were taken from them because of the twisted perverted morality of the Church and State," he said.

Minister O'Gorman said he was acutely aware that no one scheme could provide a response to the individual experience and pain suffered by survivors.

He said redress "comes in many forms" and he said access to information was the primary request by many, which was provided in the Birth Information and Tracing Legislation.

Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns and Labour TD Sean Sherlock, who were both instrumental in the amendment that led to tonight's debate, criticised the minister over his failure to move on the issue.

Ms Cairns described the minister's response as disingenuous and said the bill was "an absolute disgrace".

A vote was taken on the amendment and this was defeated by 74 votes to 64.