The Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022 – One Year On

The Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) today marked the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022, noting the goals that have been achieved throughout the year and the work that needs to be completed in the years ahead.

Some key figures from the first year working this legislation include :

·         The AAI received over 3,800 applications for birth certificates, birth information, early life, care and medical information through the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022 in the past year and 36 applications remain to be completed.

·         3,417 people registered their details on the Contact Preference Register (CPR) since July 2022 and 255 matches were completed within this timeframe. 85% of those added to the register in the past year are adopted persons.

·         The AAI received almost 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.

Ms Orlaith Traynor, Board Chairperson, reflected on the first year of working with the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022.  “I am pleased that the Authority has now processed the backlog of birth information applications and that the Authority can now respond to new applications within the timeframes specified in the Act. The new legislation confirms the right of adopted people to information as to their identity and origins and I am mindful of how important the timely receipt of this information is information is to adoptees, those boarded-out or nursed-out and those who were the subject of incorrect birth registrations”

Interim CEO Colm O’Leary noted that “the legislation formally established the Contact Preference Register on a statutory basis and there were 3400 new registrations on the register since July of 2022 which exceeded expectations.”  With over 85% of the new registrations coming from adopted persons, the Authority is keen for more birth parents to join the CPR and record a contact preference” which will enable the Authority continue its work with the CPR in future years.

The Authority received almost 400 Tracing Applications in the past year, and two thirds of these applications have already been allocated to a social worker.  A tracing process can be complex and can involve far more persons than the person initiating a trace and the identified contact.  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.

About The Adoption Authority of Ireland

The Adoption Authority of Ireland, established on 1 November 2010 under the Adoption Act 2010, is an independent quasi-judicial body under the aegis of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY).  The Authority is also, in line with The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, the ‘Central Authority’ for intercountry adoption in Ireland.  The purpose of the Adoption Act 2010 is to improve standards in both domestic and intercountry adoption.  The Adoption Authority of Ireland is one of two state bodies providing these services, the other being Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

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