Dozens of people placed for adoption in St Patrick’s Guild may not know they’re adopted. Tusla’s identified 126 cases where births were incorrectly registered between 1946 and 1969.
They’re cases where the adoptive parents of the child were recorded as the birth parents without an adoption order.
Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone says an independent review has been ordered. Minister Zappone says while the practice of incorrect registrations has been known about for many years, it has been ‘extremely difficult’ to prove and identify individual cases due to the deliberate failure of those involved to keep records.
”This is a very serious and sensitive issue. People have the right to know of their true origins and, where we have clear evidence, I believe we have an obligation to tell the people affected.
“Some may know already, but for others it will be entirely new and very difficult information indeed. Tusla has developed a plan for making contact with people and for providing the right supports for them as they absorb this information.”
Incorrect Registrations of Birth: New Evidence in St Patrick Guild Records https://t.co/5ffoGGzugW
— Katherine Zappone (@KZapponeTD) May 29, 2018
Tusla – Child and Family Agency has identified at least 126 instances of incorrect registrations of birth in the records of St Patrick’s Guild. Tusla holds historicalArecords and uses them to help people trace birth relatives through its information and tracing services.
In May 2016, Tusla received 13,500 records from St Patrick’s Guild. The registrations in question relate to births between 1946 and 1969 and were discovered as a result of Tusla proactively undertaking significant work to scan St Patrick’s Guild records and identify instances of incorrect registrations. A further 16 cases from the same time period are being examined to establish if they are also incorrect registrations.
While the 126 cases have been identified, significant work remains to identify, locate and inform those affected. Tusla has been tasked by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, with identifying, locating and contacting those affected, as a matter of urgency. Tusla has created a dedicated team of experienced practitioners to carry out this work.
At this point in time, we cannot say with certainty how long this process will take. Tracing people is often slow, labour-intensive work, but we have created an experienced social work team dedicated to tracing these people in the hope that the work will be completed as quickly as possible.
We would like to clarify that based on information currently available the only people who may be affected by this annoucement are those born between 1946 and 1969, who were placed through St Patrick’s Guild and who do not have an adoption order.
It is likely that this work will impact on our general information and tracing services and on the waiting time for people who have applied for a tracing service. We apologise for this inconvenience and to minimise this impact we have begun recruitment to fill the posts made vacant by the creation of the dedicated team.
This is an extremely sensitive issue and one which we acknowledge may cause upset and anxiety for those affected, as well as adopted people, adoptive parents and birth parents across the country. Tusla will ensure that those affected will be treated with dignity, respect, sensitivity and a true sense of compassion. Tusla will also make sure that the people who are subject to the incorrect registrations are given the autonomy and self-determination to make the decision they wish to about their life. A helpline has been set up for anyone who has concerns about their adoption.
Freecall helpline – 1800 805 665 and is open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday.