Thursday, 18 February 2021
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
203. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to amend the Civil Registration Act 2019 to provide full access to birth certificates for adopted persons; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9250/21]
The Civil Registration Act 2004, as amended, provides for public access to birth registrations and the issue of birth certificates where a person has the necessary information to identify an entry in the birth register. I do not consider that any amendments are needed to the Act to enable the fullest access to information in the registers maintained by the General Register Office.
The problem faced by adopted persons is that they do not always have the necessary information to identify the entry in the birth register that relates to their birth and the names of their biological parent(s). In such circumstances, assistance can be provided to a person seeking information on their birth parent(s) by contacting the Adoption Authority of Ireland; Tusla, the Child and Family Agency; or one of the authorised adoption tracing services. Where information becomes available enabling the identification of the relevant birth record, the General Register Office/Civil Registration Service will be able to provide the required certificate.
The Government’s Action Plan in response to the Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Home’s Report identified the importance of providing access to birth register records and early life information for adoptees. The General Register Office, which operates under the aegis of my Department, is in a position to assist and offer advice to any person seeking access to birth registration records.
I hope this clarifies the position.