Press release: September 22, 2022
MORE THAN 16,000 ADOPTED PERSONS AND BIRTH PARENTS SEEKING TO MAKE CONTACT UNDER NEW BIRTH INFORMATION & TRACING ACT
- 2,174 people have registered contact preferences since enactment of landmark legislation
- County by county breakdown of applicants
- Birth information and tracing services start on October 3
A total of 16,634 adopted persons, birth parents, and other relatives have now registered with the Adoption Authority of Ireland to state their preferences about making contact with birth relatives.
Latest figures show that 2,174 people have joined the new Contact Preference Register (CPR), which was established on July 1 as part of the enactment of the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022. The CPR replaces the old National Adoption Contact Preference Register (NACPR), on which 14,460 people were registered.
The Birth Information and Tracing Act provides legal entitlement, where available, to full and unrestricted access to birth certificates, birth, early life, care, and medical information for any person who was adopted, boarded out, had their birth illegally registered, or who otherwise has questions in relation to their origins. The new law also creates a statutory tracing service for those affected by adoption who are seeking to make contact with birth relatives.
Services under the Birth Information and Tracing Act are provided free of charge and will be available from October 3rd.
Persons wishing to make contact, to request privacy, or to seek or share information with a birth relative, can register their preferences via an application to the CPR, which is operated by the Adoption Authority of Ireland. Persons in Ireland and abroad who registered with the old NACPR – which was established in 2005 – will have their preferences migrated to the new register, bringing to 16,634 the total number of people on the CPR.
Of the 2,174 applications submitted to the CPR since July 1, 1,922 are from adopted persons, 236 are from birth parents and other relatives, and 18 are illegal birth registration applicants. Of the applications, 1,743 have come from Ireland, 119 from the UK, 49 from the USA, and 245 from people in other countries around the world.
Dublin is the county with the most applicants, followed by Cork, and then Kildare. The county with the fewest applicants is Leitrim. (NB: Please see appendix with breakdown of applicants by county).
On the CPR, 145 people (97 adoptees and 48 birth relatives) have expressed a wish to have no contact – all other applicants are willing to share information or are seeking contact at some level. Of those migrating from the old NACPR, 248 people registered to have no contact.
The CPR will remain open after birth information and tracing services begin, allowing people to register or update their preferences at any stage. Applications can be made at www.birthinfo.ie.
Adoption Authority CEO Patricia Carey said: “People in Ireland who were adopted, boarded out or had their birth information illegally registered have waited a very long time to gain access to their own information. Finally, from October 3, they will be able to apply for and receive unredacted information about their birth and earlier years.
“The Adoption Authority and our colleagues in Tusla look forward to providing this information and helping people establish contact with their birth families through the new tracing services.
“There has been an incredible response to the public information campaign around this landmark legislation. To have more than 2,000 people register their preferences on the new Contact Preference Register in just 11 weeks shows how important and much anticipated these new services are for those affected by adoption.
“Including the preferences of those on the old National Adoption Contact Preference Register that have been migrated, there are now more than 16,000 people on the new CPR and we are better placed than ever to help facilitate contact and reunions between family members who wish it.”
“The focus is now switching to delivering information and tracing services, but the CPR will remain open. Anyone who wants to register or update their contact preferences can do so at any time by visiting www.birthinfo.ie and filling out an online application form.”
* Free counselling services for birth parents or relevant persons affected are now available. Applications can be made by contacting Tusla at 0818 44 55 00 or by emailing BITCounselling@tusla.ie
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For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Craig McKechnie | email@example.com | +353 (0)87 621 8839
Richard Burke | firstname.lastname@example.org | +353 (0) 86 816 7822
NOTES FOR EDITORS
About the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022
- The Birth Information and Tracing Act, 2022 ensures, for the first time, that ‘a relevant person’ (adopted person, person who was, or suspects they were, boarded out, nursed out or resident in a Mother and Baby Home or County Home, and persons whose birth was illegally registered, or they suspect their birth was illegally registered) can now apply for their birth certificate, birth, early life, care, and medical information. Any items left for the relevant person such as letters, photographs and mementoes can also be applied for.
- This means that adopted people and others will be able to have records that show their name at birth, birthplace, and date, as well as their parents’ names, dates of birth and other details. Any records related to their health including details of vaccinations will also be provided.
- People affected by the issues under the legislation are invited to register their contact preference or complete a new application to update an existing contact preference, on the new Contact Preference Register.If a person is eligible to register a preference, it’s important to do so before the Information Service opens for applications on October 3rd, 2022. Contact preferences can still be registered after that date. However, when an application for information is received, only preferences recorded on the register at that point in time can be released with the associated information The tracing service can be used by relevant persons – parents, adoptive parents, birth relatives, other genetic relatives, or those who were carers in relation to a relevant person – to enable contact or the sharing or requesting of contemporaneous information.
- Where the relevant person has died, their son or daughter will have the same right to information that relates to their parent, if the relevant person’s parents (i.e. the applicant’s grandparents) are also deceased. A next of kin can also apply for access if the relevant person died while resident as a child in a Mother and Baby or County Home Institution.
- In cases where a mother chooses to have no contact, this will not prevent her identity from being shared, but her right and wish not to be contacted will be communicated.
- In cases where a mother chooses to have no contact, this will not stop adopted persons meeting or engaging with other family members, such as siblings or half siblings.
- A preference for no contact only gives the Authority the remit to communicate the preference and inform relevant persons of their parents wish for privacy. It does not prohibit other actions under the Act.
ADOPTION AUTHORITY OF IRELAND
The Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) is the central authority for adoption in Ireland. Established under the Adoption Act 2010, the Authority operates as an independent body under the aegis of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY). The Authority’s functions include those of an operational, judicial, and quasi-judicial nature in relation to the adoption process as provided for under the Act, but also relating to the Authority’s designation as the Central Authority for the 1993 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of lntercountry Adoption. In addition, the Authority has registration and regulatory functions for all adoption related matters in Ireland.