Wednesday 3 August 2022

Birth Information & Tracing Act comes into effect in October

A public information campaign was launched last month with the aim of ensuring that the public is well informed on the new Birth Information and Tracing law, which comes into effect in October.

A booklet explaining the Act should be landing on your doormat soon; a copy will be delivered to every household in Ireland, while thousands more copies will be distributed to people living overseas through Ireland’s network of embassies. Distribution started on 25 July. Delivery may take some weeks to achieve.

In the meantime, The Adoption Authority of Ireland has released a video (see below), explaining what this new landmark legislation means for people who were adopted in, or from Ireland.

The new law provides legal entitlement to full and unrestricted access to birth and early life information for any Irish person who was adopted, boarded out or had their birth information illegally registered, or who otherwise has questions in relation to their origins.

It also establishes a tracing service to facilitate contact between adoptees and birth parents and other relatives according to the preferences they register on the new Contact Preference Register (CPR).

The CPR, operated by the Adoption Authority of Ireland, opened for applications at the start of July. This Register empowers people to record their preferences in relation to contact with others and the sharing and receiving of information.

In October, Information and Tracing services under the legislation will open. From this time, applications for records can be made to the Adoption Authority of Ireland and Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

The Adoption Authority estimates that 100,000 people — adoptees, birth parents and other relatives — are impacted by the new legislation, with many of them living outside of Ireland.

Launching the video, Patricia Carey, CEO of the Adoption Authority of Ireland, said: "Thousands of birth parents left Ireland to rebuild their lives in other countries. We hope this video helps to reach them and adult adoptees — no matter where they live – and lets them know they are now able to find out about their origins."

The video is available to watch here.