Women in 80s among those seeking contact with adopted children under new scheme

Women In 80S Among Those Seeking Contact With Adopted Children Under New Scheme Women In 80S Among Those Seeking Contact With Adopted Children Under New Scheme
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By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

The Adoption Authority of Ireland has said that the lack of shame around adoption has encouraged older women to come forward to look for information about their children who were adopted.

Under the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022, services have been set up so that people affected by adoption can state whether they would like to contact their birth relatives.

It also gives access to people who were adopted, boarded out or had their birth illegally registered to their birth certificates, birth, care, and medical information.

The services are provided free of charge by the Adoption Authority and the child and family agency Tusla.


The authority said that 1,288 people have applied for their birth information since the services were launched a week ago.

Of the applications so far, 1,176 were made from people living in Ireland, with the rest coming from countries including the UK, the US, Australia and Canada.


Thirteen of the UK applications were made by people living in Northern Ireland.

Adoption Authority chief executive Patricia Carey said that people who have contacted the scheme are seeking reunion with their relatives, to find out how their children are, and adopted people are seeking information about themselves.

“Adopted people are looking for their birth certificates. For many adopted people it will be the first time they will see the document – their own true identity, the identity they were born with,” she told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme.

She said that this was a “landmark” development for Ireland, where 50,000 people have been adopted since 1953.

Ms Carey said they are expecting between 5,000-7,000 people to come forward before the end of the year.

“I think that part of the growing up in Ireland is that people have changed their minds.


“People are having conversations that nobody is ashamed (of) … this whole concept of secrecy around adoption is hopefully and thankfully waning.

“So we have had mothers in their 80s coming to us and saying for the first time ‘I want to make contact’ – maybe mothers who before said ‘I never want to have contact’ or were slightly fearful, but I think now that’s a very small cohort.


“We deliberately targeted nursing homes and places where older people will be living – community centres, GPs – to ensure they have information and particularly people who are maybe not digitally savvy, that they have a paper copy of what this legislation means.”

Leaflets have been sent out to homes across Ireland informing them of what the legislation provides for.

Ms Carey said 98 per cent of applications for the service have come through the dedicated website Birthinfo.ie, but added that people can call the authority as well to receive information on 01 230 9300.

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