Report details over 2,500 applications for information under the 2022 Act; reaffirms the Authority’s ongoing work on all aspects of adoption
The Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) today published its 2022 Annual Report, detailing the implementation of the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022, goals achieved throughout the year and how it seeks to position itself for the year ahead.
The report, addressed to Roderic O’Gorman TD, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, details statistics and figures for the year across a variety of topics and headings relating to all factors in the adoption process.
Some key headline figures in the report include:
- The Authority received 110 adoption applications in 2022, and 102 Adoption Orders were granted during the year.
- In 2022, 170 entries were made in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions on foot of applications for recognition of adoptions.
- The AAI received 2,570 applications for birth certs, birth, early life, care and medical information through the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022 between October and December.
- 1,944 people registered their details on the Contact Preference Register (CPR) between 2021 and 2022; this compares to 540 who registered their details in the previous 12 months.
- The Authority received 108 tracing applications in the last three months of the year, of which 81% were allocated to a social worker by the end of the year.
- The AAI’s staff almost doubled in 2022, largely temporarily to process birth information applications.
Ms Orlaith Traynor, Board Chairperson, reflected on the past year, giving special mention to the impact of the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022 on the work carried out by the AAI: “The new legislation represented a seismic change in our adoption landscape and was enthusiastically greeted by the Board. For many years, people adopted here in Ireland were denied access to their birth certificates, birth early life, & care information and medical information. The new legislation confirmed the right of adopted people to be provided with information as to their identity and origins, where available. It also placed the CPR, which has been in existence for a number of years, on a statutory footing. The Board welcomed the significant numbers of applications received, which was greater than anticipated.”
Referring back to the headline strategic goal set out in the AAI’s 2022 – 2024 Strategic Plan: Ms. Traynor continued, “We look forward to continuing to progress our mission ‘in ensuring the highest possible standards of adoption related services throughout the life-long adoption process with the best interests of children as the first and paramount objective’ and, in this regard, to continue to deliver the goals as set out in our Strategic Plan, ‘to be recognised as the centre of excellence and principal authoritative source of information on all aspects of adoption and as a provider and regulator of high quality adoption services”
Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman T.D. said “I am very happy to receive the annual report of the Adoption Authority of Ireland for 2022. I wish to express my sincere thanks to the Board, the interim CEO and all the staff of the Authority for their tremendous efforts throughout last year and into 2023. I would especially like to highlight the continuing work of the Authority on the implementation of the Birth Information and Tracing Act. I recall the very successful Public Information Campaign and the launch of the contact preference register which supported the opening of information and tracing services under the Act in October last year. My Department looks forward to continuing to work with and support the Authority in delivering their mission and strategic plan in the year ahead.”
Interim CEO Colm O’Leary said, “The staffing levels in the Authority increased from 29 to 52 during the year to fulfil both existing and new functions under the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022. Many of the newly created positions are temporary however. I was also very happy to note that the Social Work Team has increased to its full complement of 12 practising professionals to which almost 65% of all tracing requests have now been allocated.”
When publishing the report, Mr O’Leary also welcomed the news that the Authority had now caught up in processing the backlog of information release applications with the final 127 of the 3,800 received applications to be completed in the coming weeks.
“The Board and staff of the Authority understand that applicants may have been waiting on this information for many years. I am glad that the Authority will shortly be responding to information requests within the statutory timeframes. We are very mindful of how important this information is to adoptees, those boarded-out or nursed-out and those who were the subject of incorrect birth registrations. I regret that the initial surge in applications delayed the release of information to many and appreciate the understanding shown by those who have requested information”.
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.
Overall statistics and general information on the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022
For overall statistics arising from the implementation of the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022, please contact the press office of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth at Media@equality.gov.ie