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05 Oct 2022

More than 16,000 seek to make contact under new Birth Information and Tracing Act

More than 16,000 seek to make contact under new Birth Information and Tracing Act

Services under the Birth Information and Tracing Act are provided free of charge and will be available from 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 3.

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.

County by county breakdown

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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