A report into the former mother and baby home in Tuam says it may be impossible to identify some of the children buried there.
Significant amounts of human remains were found at the site in Galway.
An expert group examining the Tuam site says there needs to be realistic expectations about what they may get from DNA testing at the site.
They say without living relatives it will be impossible to identify some of the remains, and will be extremely difficult in other circumstances.
The best source of DNA can be teeth, and as they do not fully form until someone is 2-years-old many of the children cannot be identified that way.
The report outlines 5 possible ways forward - ranging from doing no further investigation and making the site a memorial, right up to doing a total forensic excavation of the area around the mother and baby home.
Other recommendations put forward partial excavation or re-internment for the remains found.
Galway County Council will now do a consultation report into what the way forward should be, allowing families and other stakeholders to have their say.
That will take about 3 months and will be considered by the Government then.
Children's Minister Katherine Zappone is open to all the options that have been tabled
She added that it presents an unprecedented technical challenge, and informed debates do not always make decisions easier.