Ireland’s adoption authority has 'caught up' with backlog after surge in applications for birth information

Ireland’s adoption authority has 'caught up' with backlog after surge in applications for birth information

THE Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) has “caught up” with a backlog of applications following a surge of requests for birth information since new laws came into effect.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022.

The legislation allows people adopted in Ireland to access their birth records and early life documents which were previously withheld from them.

Over the past year, the AAI received over 3,800 applications for birth certificates, birth information, early life, care and medical information through the new law.

The organisation admits the surge caused a backlog but adds that now only 36 applications of the 3,800 received remain to be completed.

Since the implementation of the Act, 3,417 people have registered their details on the AAI’s Contact Preference Register (CPR) and 255 matches have been made.

Some 85 per cent of those added to the register in the past year are adopted persons, the AAI confirmed, while urging more birth parents to add their names to the register.

AAI’s Interim CEO, Colm O’Leary explained: ‘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.”

He added: “With over 85 per cent 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 to continue its work with the CPR in future years.”

Throughout the year, the AAI received almost 400 tracing requests, of which 66 per cent have been allocated to a social worker and over 10 per cent moved into contact with a relative.

Ms Orlaith Traynor, AAI Board Chairperson, reflected on the work achieved so far, on the anniversary of the implementation of the new adoption legislation.

“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,” she said.

“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”