Tracing delays impacting over 1,000 adopted people

Over 1,000 adopted people are languishing on waiting lists, seeking a service to help them discover their natural relatives.

According to the annual report of Tusla, there are currently 1,042 people waiting for information and tracing service for what it calls “historical adoptions”.

As it stands, adopted people currently have no legal right to their adoption file, birth certificate or medical history.

They have long criticised the current non-statutory system as taking too long and not going far enough.

The National Contact Preference Register (NACPR) operated by the Adoption Authority of Ireland — which seeks to match adopted people and their natural families who sign up — has also been heavily criticised for its low rate of matches.

Claire McGettrick of the Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) said she was “shocked but not surprised” at the waiting list saying it showed the “utter contempt” the Irish State has for adopted people.

“It is an outrage that adopted people are being forced to wait for basic information that the rest of the population takes for granted. Our organisation has daily complaints from adopted people and natural parents who contact Tusla, only to be placed on a lengthy waiting list,” she said.

Paul Redmond of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes (CMABS) said the under-resourced system was working too slowly for people tracing relatives.

“After all the revelations about the Mother and Baby homes, the Government must know that without proper resources, only gravestones will be reunited at the rate the system is operating. Our community needs modest funding urgently,” he said.

Earlier this summer, adopted people and natural parents gave a cautious welcome to the Government’s proposed tracing and information legislation.


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