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04 Mar 2021

HSE announces extended Counselling Supports for those affected by Illegal Birth Registrations

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HSE Media Release: 3 March 2021

Evidence of illegal registration records from St. Patrick's Guild was previously announced in May 2018 by the then Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. An independent analysis of adoption records held in the custody of the State [Tusla and the Adoption Authority of Ireland] was carried out to find if the practice of illegal registration took place in other Irish adoption services.

A  number of support options are in place for anyone impacted, including the HSE's National Counselling Service (NCS). Established in 2000, the HSE's National Counselling Service has over 20 years of experience providing counselling and psychotherapy to a wide range of clients across the country. The National Counselling Service, which is available from Monday to Friday (9 - 5pm), can be offered by telephone, online through secure video and where possible Counsellors can also facilitate some face to face appointments.

The HSE also funds Connect Counselling, which provides an anonymous telephone support service (1800 477 477) available to former residents of Mother & Baby Homes or anyone affected by illegal birth registrations. Connect is available 7 days a week from 6pm - 10pm. The Barnardos Post Adoption helpline, 01 454 6388, is also available daily to reach out and access the help that is available.

The HSE Live team can provide information on supports and can also help with details on how to access the National Counselling Service. They can be contacted on 1800 817 517, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and on Saturday from 10am to 5pm. The HSE would encourage anyone who has been impacted or needs support to reach out and access the help that is available. 

Information on counselling supports and contact details can be found on the HSE website here

There are an estimated 150,000 adoption records in existence and, of these, approximately 100,000 are currently in the custody of the State, for example in the possession of either Tusla, the Child and Family Agency or the Adoption Authority of Ireland.

The review is focused on those records in the custody of the State and a targeted sampling exercise in being carried out in the first instance owing to the volume of records involved.

More details can be found on www.gov.ie