The Cabinet has signed off on proposed new laws giving adopted people the right to access their birth certificate.
Ministers meeting at Lissadell House in Co Sligo supported the measure, which will operate retrospectively, and apply to future adoptions.
As it stands, adoptees are often blocked from accessing certificates carrying their birth parents’ names because of legal and constitutional reasons.
Tánaiste Joan Burton - who has previously spoken about her own experience of adoption - said that it is a major change.
"Today we've actually addressed another long-standing issue of the old, and the more hidden Ireland in actually agreeing to allow people who've been adopted to trace their original birth certificate," said the Tánaiste.