The Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 are designed to protect people’s privacy. They give effect to the Council of Europe Data Protection Convention. The Acts confer rights on individuals in relation to the privacy of their personal data as well as responsibilities on those persons holding and processing such data.

Personal Data

Personal data means data relating to a living person who is or can be identified either from the data itself or in conjunction with other information that is in, or is likely to come into, the possession of the Authority. This data can be held on computers or in manual files.

Access to Personal Data

You may use the Data Protection Acts to access personal information held by the Authority. Access under the Data Protection Acts applies only to your own personal information and there is a fee of €6.35 for each application.

An application for access to personal information should be made in writing.  The request should be as specific as possible, to quickly identify if the particular data is held and where it is held. A response to an access request will issue as soon as is possible and in any event within forty days of a complete request being lodged.

Exceptions to the right of access

Sections 4 & 5 of the Data Protection Acts set out a small number of circumstances in which the right to access personal records can be limited. This is necessary in order to strike a balance between the rights of the individual, on the one hand, and some important needs of civil society, on the other hand.

Requests for the release of information under the Acts should be made to:


The Manager

Corporate Services Unit

Adoption Authority of Ireland

Shelbourne House

Shelbourne Road





For further details you can visit the Data Protection Commissioner's website at

Published: Friday, 08 January 2016 12:46
Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2017 13:11