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Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022

Home > Dublin > Family | Health and Fitness | Personal Development
by Gail Clifford MD (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer and photographer traveling the world, often following my daughter. Visit our site at and follow us on Instagram @ABLETravelPhoto
Published July 28th 2022
Ireland Birth, Access, Information, Early Life, Adoption, Genealogy, Parents, Life, Records, Family History, Medical Information
Ireland's Birth and Early Life Access to Information Laws are Changing

Were you born in Ireland and adopted? Ireland's access to birth and early life information is changing. Sometimes we travel in search of genealogical information. For adopted persons, this can be problematic. As a predominantly Catholic, conservative country, Ireland's history of adoptions sometimes happened under murky circumstances as exemplified by the movie Philomena.

In modern-day, adoption is incredibly difficult. The most recent numbers I've found showed 52 adoptions in 2017, including domestic and international. In 2019, there were 79 domestic adoptions and 33 international ones. No such adoption regulations existed in the early 1950s when pregnant girls often travelled to designated Irish convents from Ireland or other countries, to deliver and adopt out their children and return to their lives at home.

In July 2022, more than a million pamphlets were delivered in resident post boxes to share the information that the rights of a person to know their origins is going to outweigh the desire of the birth parents for privacy.

Starting in October, the Birth Information and Tracing Act allows people who were adopted, or subject of an illegal birth registration will be able to access any and all information and records about their birth and early life

A Contact Preference Register established under the Act is open for applications so that adopted people, parents, or other genetic relatives can register their preferences about whether or not they wish to be contacted. It does allow parents to register a "no contact" preference, but the rights of the child adopted out will supersede the right of privacy to the parents.

The mailer confirms that if you are eligible to register a preference to do so before the Information Service opens for applications in October. While preferences can be registered after that date, if an application for information is received prior to a preference being recorded, all associated information will be released.

A Tracing Service is being created for people actively seeking a reunion or share information with the consent of both parties.

To access the information, you need 1to be 6 years or older and only be considered a "relevant person." This entails either being or have reason to think they were:
Subject of an illegal birth registration
Nursed out or boarded out
- Resident as a child in a Mother and Baby or County Home institution.
Or, if the relevant person has died, the next of kin can apply for the available information.

What information is available?
For some, detailed records may be on file through a record or database. For others, there may be little or no information. Whatever is available, you'll receive. For example, the birth information could include the name, date, birthplace, and parents' names.

If the relevant person was under the care of the State, information about who arranged for the care and when and where it took place will be provided.

Early life information can include duration and location of care, records of health, physical and emotional development, and any religious events before they reach the age of 18.

Medical history including the relevant person's and the genetic medical family history will be released directly to the relevant person.

This initiative of the Government of Ireland is to help provide information to children adopted out in the Irish system. If children were born in Ireland, they may have the right to Irish citizenship. It's an interesting first step to a free and open conversation between child and parents with the hope for kindness and understanding to enable the best possible results.
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