Cabinet to review report on potential scale of illegal adoptions

Minister for Children and Equality Roderic O’Gorman. Photo: PA Media
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A review aimed at identifying further cases of illegal adoption in Ireland will be considered by the Cabinet this morning.

The sampling review was ordered following the discovery of 151 illegal birth registrations at St Patrick's Guild.

In 2018, then-minister Katherine Zappone initiated a review after 121 cases of illegal birth registration were discovered at the adoption agency between 1946 and 1969. The number has since risen to 151.

In many of the cases it is thought the adoptive parents had their names entered on the birth certs, or the birth mother of the child was not recorded.

The review to be considered by Ministers will be published later today has been looking at a sample of adoption records from other agencies, looking for certain markers that may indicate if the practice of illegal adoption was happening elsewhere and the possible scale.


It is understood some such cases have been identified, and it is likely a further inquiry into the matter will be launched.

The report will be delivered to Cabinet by the Minister for Children and Equality, Roderic O'Gorman, who also has a second memo before Ministers concerning the legislation to increase paid parents leave from two weeks to five.

This will be backdated to apply to both parents of children born since November 2019.

If passed in the Oireachtas later this month, people will be entitled to take the leave from April.

The Family Leave Bill also contains provisions to allow male same-sex couples to avail of adoptive leave for the first time.

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