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Proposed Birth Information & Tracing Bill 2021

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 11,324 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hermy


    I was initially sanguine about possible delays - my attitude being that they were bound to happen and the main thing was that at least the battle to win the right to our information had been won.

    But listening to Claire McGettrick on the lunchtime news yesterday explaining just how far behind TUSLA and AAI are in dealing with the requests it's clear that not nearly enough has been done by the government to ensure the timely implementation of this legislation.

    Genealogy Forum Mod



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 11,324 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hermy


    I have just received my file from TUSLA.

    I have to say I am very happy with what they have sent.

    There are three minor redactions, two of which relate to my birth mothers health and are unredacted in papers I was previously sent by TUSLA, and the other is just my parents names and address in my entry in the Adoption Register. I don't know why my parents names and address is redacted on the register image as these details appear repeatedly in other documents contained within the file. And I would prefer that there were no redactions at all but these amount to less text than this sentence I'm typing and the redacted information is already known or available to me so no big deal.

    What I'm most happy about is the quality of the images of the documents. These are good quality full colour scans and they are clearly legible unlike the documents I was previously sent by both TUSLA and AAI when I requested my non-identifying information from them. This is significant because they contain letters written by my birth mother and adopted mother, both of whom are now deceased.

    I began my search eleven years ago last month and, barring one or two loose ends, today I can finally draw a line under it. It's taken far too long to get to this point and there was never any good reason to deny me the right to access this information. I hope the rest of you receive your files in good time and that they bring you peace of mind.

    Genealogy Forum Mod



  • Registered Users Posts: 549 ✭✭✭Apothic_Red


    I logged onto the Tusla portal last night. I had only submitted one request for a mother search. Decided to do a 2nd for a father, you have to repeat a lot of the personal data a 2nd time, it's not remembered which is annoying. Still nothing on my initial search



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 11,324 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hermy


    I've since received my adoption file from AAI which contains much lower quality black and white scans which is disappointing.

    I've been in touch with them about it and am hoping the matter can be resolved.

    Genealogy Forum Mod



  • Registered Users Posts: 1 bornincognito


    Hi everyone

    I have seen that some people are getting e-mails saying that they won't get their information until later next year. I haven't received one of these e-mails. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. It's quite frustrating to be left in limbo like this. Is there anyone else here who hasn't received their info yet and hasn't gotten one of those e-mails?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 549 ✭✭✭Apothic_Red




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,793 ✭✭✭mrslancaster



    It seems incredible that minister RO'G and his department (who are responsible and accountable for this legislation) were surprised to receive a large volume of applications. Various groups that support adopted people and birth families have been talking about the numbers affected by adoption for many years - I can remember reading articles as far back as 20 years ago. Why they didn't anticipate the demand and increase the staffing to cope with it is baffling.

    Funnily enough, it's the same department that is supposed to be managing the refugee and asylum systems which is also unsuccessful in trying to process the large volumes even though it was widely reported that those numbers would grow very quickly. Maybe the staffing resources are all engaged with the paperwork for the various childcare schemes - paperwork that is causing issues for both childcare providers and parents. Or maybe it's the new redress scheme for anyone affected by the Mother & Baby homes scandal, or any of a myriad of issues affecting citizens with a disability.

    It seems every section of the DCEDIY is 'doing busy work' but there doesn't seem to be any group who come under their remit that are happy with the current service. It's a complete shambles.



  • Registered Users Posts: 549 ✭✭✭Apothic_Red


    Well they said I'd be waiting to July but it all arrived today, a 20 page PDF with names, adoption notes, scans, records, pretty much everything. Even a page of follow up notes with my adopted parents. Far more than I thought I would receive.

    Now to digest.



  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭LennieB


    That's great, it takes time to take it all in and can be overwhelming so mind yourself - to me it felt like reading about someone else. Good to have the info though.



  • Registered Users Posts: 549 ✭✭✭Apothic_Red


    It's a bit weird though.

    You are given a name of your birth mother & father but no idea if they want to make contact or even know if I have the info.

    I'm 99% sure I've already found my birth father online, I'm not going to make contact unless through TUSLA but there's no signpost where to go from here.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ahsurelookit1995


    Did you get a heads up in advance or did all this info just arrive in your email?



  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ahsurelookit1995


    Just wondering if anyone is waiting on records from AAI only and were told you'd receive them in the autumn?



  • Registered Users Posts: 549 ✭✭✭Apothic_Red


    Got an email to say there was a correspondance in my TUSLA portal, you login then bang, there it all is.

    A few perfunctory PDFs then the big one with all your details. No mention of the birth mother being contacted in advance & no contact info for any future engagement.

    Which meant my wife & sisters did their detective work & pieced together the whole family tree in about 2 hours. Between FB, Instagram, Linkedin & Google the whole family were there. Even found the father which I know is unusual.

    So now I'm in the limbo of "knowing" them but presuming they don't know I exist. They seem to have good lives, I'm happy & have no plans to interact.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 11,324 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hermy


    You are given a name of your birth mother & father but no idea if they want to make contact or even know if I have the info.

    That's interesting Red - I hadn't thought of it like that before.

    When I began my search a decade ago I was driven by the need for information rather than contact.

    I was adamant about my right to know who my birth parents were but I was undecided about whether I wanted to meet them or not.

    As it happened I had to make contact with each of them in order to confirm that they were my birth parents.

    So when I eventually got my adoption file I wasn't stuck in the limbo you now find yourself in.

    But I'm glad I did make contact and get to know a bit about my extended biological family.

    And since then, despite all the upheaval and effort of trying to find them, each of us has drifted back into our own lives again and that's absolutely fine with me.

    Genealogy Forum Mod



  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ahsurelookit1995


    That’s a lot to take in and a bit overwhelming I would assume. All my details are with AAI and there’s no portal like you mentioned so I’m not sure how it’d work for situations like mine. I’m actually in search of any relevant medical information as now I have a few kids of my own and want to know if we are predisposed to any hereditary conditions etc. however, maybe as you mentioned there’d be a temptation to do a bit of Googling..



  • Registered Users Posts: 474 ✭✭MintyMagnum


    Anyone receive docs by post?



  • Registered Users Posts: 33 MCBrowne


    Hello,

    Similar to a few others in the group, I got my records. The level of information was beyond what I expected to read. It's taken me since January and reading it several times to fully comprehend the information. However, around Easter time I got a call from a lovely man in Tusla who basically said that I was being assigned a social worker but due to the large volume of applicants, it wouldn't happen any time soon. Around a month later I've been assigned a social worker, who I'm meeting with next week.

    Now I don't know what to expect from the meeting or how things will proceed but I wanted to let those of you who are in Limbo know, that you will eventually be contacted by a social worker. So far from my interactions with the social worker, they seem very nice and very proactive in their approach.

    I too have off course gone down the Google path but I'm just not convinced if I've the right person.



  • Registered Users Posts: 549 ✭✭✭Apothic_Red


    I received a phone call from TUSLA last week just following up on the documents I'd received. Apparently I'd ticked the box requesting further contact with my birth relatives so they were just confirming that I wanted to proceed.

    My amateur detective wife & sisters had already tracked down the family tree including 2 half brothers. I could see they were living a good life with young families & no longer felt compelled to interfere. I stood down my request for future contact. Knowing they are alright has fulfilled me.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 11,324 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hermy


    Just my two cents Apothic_Red but I wouldn't see reaching out to birth relatives as interfering.

    Genealogy Forum Mod



  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ahsurelookit1995


    I received my file at the end of Easter. I had my BM name and village so I contacted the parish priest and asked him to forward on my details (just said I was an old friend). She subsequently got in touch and we’ve been emailing for a few weeks now. She seems like a nice person. She’s a HCA and married but no kids. I have BF name and village so might go down a similar route with him as BM doesn’t want anything to do with him!



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  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭LennieB


    I'm glad that she was open to contact, hope it all goes well and with contacting your birthfather also.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ahsurelookit1995


    Thanks Lennie :)



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,791 ✭✭✭robo


    Got mine today, saw the email when in work & clicked on it all, scanned thru & was amazed at the amount of information you get, on everything.

    Tried to do a bit of Googling/Social Media searching but no joy. Well I'm not 100% sure yet.

    What was odd was looking at people's pictures on Facebook & trying to decipher if they looked anyway like me. I'm someone who doesn't have kids and has never seen someone like me before, so this is strange.

    Hope that everyone else is doing good with their details



  • Registered Users Posts: 474 ✭✭MintyMagnum


    Would it be weird to leave something at a father’s grave: it being father’s day on Sunday.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 11,324 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hermy


    Not weird at all - go for it!

    Genealogy Forum Mod



  • Registered Users Posts: 1 SelfLigating


    Comment deleted by myself as found out the answer

    Post edited by SelfLigating on


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 happythirties


    Got all my info a few days back, an email from Tusla with a 35 page PDF document with only very minor redactions. It was nice to get such a thorough account of the process of my adoption with all the people involved listed and dates listed, it gives closure towards the need to know what exactly happened in the early months of my life.

    For some strange reason there was a baptismal cert included with my adoptive first name and adoptive godparents, along with my birth surname and birth mother's name on the same document (I just thought it was strange, like two worlds colliding). I had a copy of my baptismal cert already, but it was different to the one sent to me last week from Tusla; all details in the one I had originally referred to my adoptive first name and surname, along with adoptive parents names and godparents names.

    There was also a letter included from someone from the health board dated just a few days after my birth politely pointing out that there was a priest too involved in the case and not following the proper channels for the adoption process, and that someone needed to have a word with him...!

    Post edited by happythirties on


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,791 ✭✭✭robo


    Thats a bit odd about the priest - but its of its time - the priest had more power than the law etc. It is very daunting reading it all and the notes in particular and what was going on.



  • Registered Users Posts: 549 ✭✭✭Apothic_Red


    So TUSLA have worked their way through the backlog & are now up to date. Report at 1pm on radio.

    So they dealt with 3,800 applications (200 of which no info was found to date).

    Is anyone surprised with the low takeup rate ?, just over 10% requesting info. Perhaps more had secured info prior to the scheme through the old fashioned channels. Perhaps people had moved on or didn't want the potential trauma.

    Anyway, TUSLA used todays release to encourage anyone who had been sitting on the fence to come forward. All records received have been digitized with meta data available for immediate search & quick turnaround.

    I personally would speak highly of the process & recommend it to any survivor, also remember, you can find out without your birth mother/family being alerted, you can then make your own decision to reunite, or not, anytime later.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 549 ✭✭✭Apothic_Red


    Deleted double post

    Post edited by Apothic_Red on


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