Minister of Children said

ADOPTED people will finally have automatic access to their birth records under new legislation the Government hopes will end the “historic mistake”.

International law requires all children to be able to establish their identity. But the thousands of people adopted here do not have automatic rights to their birth records or access to traceability services.

Minister of Children, Equality, Disability, Inclusion and Youth Roderic O'Gorman


Minister of Children, Equality, Disability, Inclusion and Youth Roderic O’GormanCredit: MAXWELLS DUBLIN
Many tots have been taken from their mothers and sent abroad for adoption


Many tots have been taken from their mothers and sent abroad for adoption

The Birth Information and Tracing Bill was announced a year ago since an investigation discovered that thousands of babies had died in the Mother and Baby Home. Many babies were also taken from their mothers and sent abroad for adoption.

Successive governments have failed to legislate on the issue, arguing that a mother’s right to privacy is greater than the right of those adopted.

Writing today, Children’s Minister RODERIC O’GORMAN, explains how the new law will work, if it is enacted as expected.


EVERY Irish citizen has a constitutional right to know their identity – their origin, their personal story and where they come from.

For those who are adopted, however, for decades that right and the right to provide information about themselves have often been restricted and denied because of the parents’ constitutional right to privacy.

Birth certificates, baptismal certificates and childhood information – vital to a person’s identity – were withheld from adoptees, leaving them with unanswered questions. words regarding where they come from, who their relatives are, and key information about their early years.

Most read in The Irish Sun

The Birth Information and Tracing Bill, published this week, seeks to give those rights back to adoptees, while respecting parents’ privacy wishes, in a way that ensures Adoptees can have full and complete access to information about their birth and early life in all circumstances.

No transactions. Do not refuse. No exception.

Importantly, this right also applies to people who may have had an illegal birth registration, who have been at Mother and Child Organizations, and who may have questions about their identity and origin. .

Importantly, it also provides access to additional information about the early stages of a person’s life, which can help them better understand who they are and where they come from.


This includes where they may have lived; how long they may have been with their mother; whether they have an older brother or sister or younger brother; who took care of them, where and for how long; and their medical history and that of their genetic relatives.

It also goes beyond that and includes items such as letters, photos, and other mementos that parents may have left to their children, in an organization or agency, but never transferred. .

And in the event that an adoptee has died, their children will be able to use the law. They may also question the origins of their relatives and by extension their own origins.

The measure would also help adopted people or parents whose children may have been adopted.

They can share information and communicate with family members, which is the wish of all parties involved.


This will be done through a new national traceability service and a contact preference register will be established under this legislation.

If and when this legislation is passed, we will launch a campaign to let adoptees, parents and family members know that they can apply even if they want to be contacted by a relative. lost or not.

After three months have passed, adoptees or people involved will be able to use tracing information and services.

In the event that nothing is recorded in the contact preference register, or if the parents indicate that they would like to be contacted, the adoptee will receive their complete set of information in the mail.

Nothing will be retained.

Where the registered parents do not wish to be contacted, the adoptee will receive a phone call where the parental privacy wishes will be communicated to the adoptee.

After this phone call, a complete and complete set of information will still be given to the adoptee. Again, nothing will be held back.


We want to be able to make as much information available to everyone as possible without further delay.

By including a phone call in this process, we are rebalancing two competing sets of constitutional rights in a way that does not limit the information that can be made available to someone by law, while still acknowledge mothers’ right to privacy.

This law is long overdue.

I’ve prioritized its development through Houses of the Oireachtas, and it’s coming to Dail next week.

I want to make sure it gets through as quickly as possible, so that the final adoptees can access their history, personal stories, and identities. Things that all the rest of us take for granted. Minister of Children said

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