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Information on Adoptions

Practical information for Irish citizens seeking to adopt in the U.S., register a foreign adoption in Ireland or to trace family members involved in inter-country adoptions.

Irish citizens seeking to adopt in the United States, or to register a foreign adoption in Ireland, should contact the Adoption Authority of Ireland:

Irish citizens seeking to trace family members involved in inter-country adoptions may wish to contact Child and Family Agency of Ireland. The Agency provides an adoption tracing service and further information can be found on their website:

Those interested may also wish to register their details with the Irish National Adoption Contact Preference Register, which has been set up to facilitate contact between adopted people and their natural families. The Register is maintained by the Adoption Authority of Ireland.

Message from Ms. Frances Fitzgerald TD, former Minister for Children & Youth Affairs on 2014 US Visit by Ms. Philomena Lee:

"Philomena Lee is a truly remarkable woman who has struggled with such courage and grace on her own behalf and on behalf of all too many single young mothers who in previous decades faced a cold and condemnatory response when what they needed was support and understanding. I hope she takes comfort from the success she has had in having her story heard and in successfully encouraging others who can identify with her experiences. Thankfully Ireland has seen a major fall-off in domestic adoptions as the social attitudes of yesteryear have been superseded by much greater support and understanding for those experiencing unplanned pregnancy.

As Ireland’s first ever Minister for Children I have been looking at the challenge of how additional legal and administrative systems can be developed to assist in the provision of information and tracing regarding previous adoptions.

In developing these arrangements to facilitate greater access to information and records it has been necessary to carefully consider legal and Constitutional issues related to a birth parent’s right to privacy where they do not wish for their identity to be revealed. Many birth parents are willing to give such consent and we are looking at how they can be better supported in doing so. Currently, there are over 7,500 adopted persons and nearly 3,400 relatives registered on the National Adoption Contact Preference Register as being interested in sharing information.

I am anxious to promote awareness among women whose children were adopted of the importance of the Register. The considerable public attention that this area is now receiving in Ireland and abroad provides a very good opportunity to promote this awareness and already the Adoption Authority of Ireland, which manages the Contact Register, is reporting a very significant increase in interest.

In conclusion, the development of a comprehensive suite of legislative and administrative measures to support more effective adoption information and tracing services in Ireland is a priority for the Government and I look forward to significant developments in this area in the current year."