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Image of August 2022 of a booklet about the new Birth Information and Tracing Act, produced by the AAI. Alamy Stock Photo
Adoption Authority of Ireland

More than 3,800 applications for records in first year of Birth Information and Tracing Act

The Adoption Authority of Ireland said there has been significant progress but that further work still lies ahead.

THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY of Ireland (AAI) has received over 3,800 applications for records in the year since the implementation of the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022.

The Act, which came into force on this day last year, grants right of access to birth certificates, birth and early life information, where available, for all persons who were adopted, boarded out, the subject of an illegal birth registration, or who otherwise have questions in relation to their origins.

In the day after the system opened on 3 October 2022, the Adoption Authority of Ireland received 817 applications for information, according to the Department of Children and Equality. 

The Act also allows for access to available information by a child of a relevant person where their parent has died, and for access by the next of kin of children who died in an institution.

Information requests can be made to the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) and Tusla through the bespoke website

The AII said there has been significant progress but that further work still lies ahead.

In the past year, it has received over 3,800 applications for birth certificates, birth information, early life, care and medical information.

The vast majority of these applications have been processed, and fewer than one percent of these applications (36) remain to be completed.

Orlaith Traynor, chair of the board at AAI, said she is “pleased that the Authority has now processed the backlog of birth information applications”.

She added that the “Authority can now respond to new applications within the timeframes specified in the Act”.

The waiting time for people who requested information via the Act tripled from 30 days to 90 days due to the level of demand in the weeks after the Act came into force. The waiting time subsequently increased to several months.

Traynor said she is “mindful of how important the timely receipt of this information is to adoptees, those boarded-out or nursed-out and those who were the subject of incorrect birth registrations”.

Meanwhile, 3,417 people registered their details on the Contact Preference Register (CPR) since July 2022.

The first parts of the Birth Information and Tracing Act came into effect on 1 July, 2022 with the establishment of the Contact Preference Register (CPR).

The main function of the Register is to enable contact between family members affected by adoption.

The Register also serves as a way to lodge a contact preference, including a request for privacy.

Where a preference of no contact has been registered, the AAI will conduct an information session with the specified person.

In all, 255 matches were completed within this timeframe and 85% of those added to the Register in the past year are adopted persons.

Interim CEO of the AAI, Colm O’Leary said the level of registrations have “exceeded expectations”.  

However, he said the “Authority is keen for more birth parents to join the CPR and record a contact preference”.

O’Leary said this will “enable the Authority to continue its work with the CPR in future years”.

The AAI also received close to 400 tracing requests in the past year, of which 66% have been allocated to a social worker and over 10% moved into contact with a relative.

The AAI noted that a “tracing process can be complex and can involve far more persons than the person initiating a trace and the identified contact”.

The Authority added: “Traces can conclude with unexpected outcomes and the AAI is often requested to pause a tracing process to allow those identified in the process the information received.

“Social workers frequently provide essential supports and guidance to those who initiate a trace, as well as those who are found as a result of a trace.”

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