Adopted people will have access to "as much information as possible" about their birth and early life under planned new laws, Minister Roderic O'Gorman says.
After decades of campaigning, adopted people in Ireland will finally get full access to their birth certificates.
Previous governments had repeatedly said this couldn’t be done because of the privacy rights of the birth mother.
However, a new bill published yesterday has finally changed that.
Once passed, the new rules will allow adopted people access to their "full and unredacted" birth certs and other key information about their early life.
The legislation is expected to pass through the Dáil later this year.
The Government will also set up a new tracing service to help adopted people contact their family.
On The Pat Kenny Show, Children's and Equality Minister Roderic O'Gorman acknowledged this legislation is a long time coming.
He said: “For too long, adopted people or anyone who has questions about their origins have been denied access to their full information.
“This legislation provides access to the full and unredacted birth certificate, but also a broader scope of information - birth information, early life information, care information, medical information, and any items that may have been left for them by their parents with the mother & baby institution or adoptive institution.
“The whole idea behind this bill is to give adopted people as much information as possible.”
A request for the information will be made in a single application.
Information about a father’s name, for example, may not be on the birth cert but could be elsewhere on the file - so an adopted person would get any information available.
People will be able to apply via either Tusla or Adoption Authority of Ireland - both have been given extra resources to deal with ‘pent-up demand’ for this information, and they'll be taking on extra staff and specialists to assist with the process.
A new contact preference register, meanwhile, will allow parents or children to say whether they want to be contacted.
If an adopted person says they want information only, they will simply receive their information in the post.
If a parent says they want no contact, however, the adopted person will receive a call from Tusla or AAI before the information is sent out to make them aware of the situation.
Minister O'Gorman also noted that when an adopted person has died, their child will be able to apply for the same information.