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    The Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) welcomes the publication of the report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related Matters, and looks forward to engaging with the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and all stakeholders on the outcomes and recommendations in this important document. 

    The Authority recognises that this is a difficult and significant milestone in the history and the legacy of Ireland's Mother & Baby Home regime and is committed to address all outcomes that concern adoption related matters. 

    For media enquiries, please contact Patricia Carey, CEO via Maggie Hopkinson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01-2309324.

    For AAI Information & Tracing Services:

    Phone: 01-2309300 / Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

    https://aai.gov.ie/en/what-we-do/info-and-tracing.html

    For AAI Social Work services:

    Phone 01-2309306 or +353-1-2309306 (outside ROI)

    Lines are open 10am - 4pm, Monday to Friday

    Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

    To contact the Commission, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call confidential Freephone numbers 1800 806688 (ROI only) and +353-1-644-5088 (outside ROI)

    Any person seeking adoption information and tracing services may wish to contact TUSLA by phone at 01-7718500 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

    To contact the Department in relation to Mother and Baby homes, phone the Mother and Baby Home Investigation Unit at +353- 1 6473200 (9.30am - 6pm, Monday to Friday) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

    In response to the pending publication of the Mother and Baby Home report, Barnardos have extended their helpline 01-4546388 to operate each day from 9.30am - 4.30pm.

    The next support course for adopted adults is open for registration on the Barnardos website as below:

    Exploring Adoption: Adult Five Session Online Course (barnardos.ie)

    An online support meeting will take place on 17 February for birth mothers who may come forward as a result of the publication - enquiries to the helpline or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

    The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes was established by Government in 2015 to provide a full account of what happened to women and children in Mother and Baby home institutions during the period 1922 to 1998.

    A Collaborative Forum was also established to make recommendations relating to health and well-being supports for former residents.

    In response to these recommendations, the Government committed to developing a package of health and well-being measures. The importance of ensuring former residents’ mental health and specific need for psychological support was recognised and prioritised.

    The National Counselling Service (NCS) was asked to provide counselling to former residents through its counselling locations:

    • The HSE’s NCS has 20 years of experience in providing counselling and psychotherapy to a wide range of clients including those who have experienced psychological difficulties due to time spent in institutions.

    Counselling is available face to face, by telephone or online through secure video. This service is available to adults living in Ireland if you are a former resident of Mother and Baby Homes (mothers or children).

    Counselling Service for Former Residents of Mother and Baby Homes - HSE.ie

    https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/mental-health-services/national-counselling-service/counselling-service-for-former-residents-of-mother-and-baby-homes/

    How you can access this service

    Referral Process

    Access to the National Counselling Service for former residents may be made by direct self-referral. You can do this by referring yourself to the service that is nearest to you.

    We will also accept written referrals from health care professionals such as GPs.

    Individuals referred will be offered an initial assessment appointment. This to establish if the NCS is the appropriate service to meet a person’s needs at this time.

    If counselling is appropriate the next available counselling place will be offered.

    When making a referral to the NCS it would be helpful to identify if you are a former resident of a mother and baby home.

    This will ensure you are prioritised for the next available counselling place.

    Contact Details

    You can find out about your nearest counselling service by contacting the HSE region which looks after your county.

    Please see full list of contact details here.

    Outside of office hours

    Anonymous telephone support is available from Connect Counselling, a HSE funded service. 

    Freephone 1800 477 477 from 6pm to 10pm every day (7 days a week). 

    Other Support Options

    Visit yourmentalhealth.ie for more mental health support options including phone, text and online. 

    Other Key Contacts & Information

    If you wish to contact the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related Matters you can do so by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by their confidential Freephone numbers 1800 806688 (ROI only) and +353-1-644-5088 (outside ROI).

    Any person seeking adoption information and tracing services may wish to contact TUSLA – Child & Family Agency by phone at 01 7718500 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Contacting the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

    There is also a dedicated telephone information line available for people seeking further information about the publication of the Report. The department’s Information Line can be contacted on 01 6473200 from Monday to Friday 9.30am to 6pm.

    National Counselling Service

    For anyone who feels they may need professional counselling support, the HSE National Counselling Service is available from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 5pm. Details of the National Counselling Service and contact details for each area are listed below.

    HSE Region Area Covered Telephone Number
    CHO Area 1 Donegal, Sligo & Leitrim 1800 234 119
    CHO Area 2 Galway, Mayo & Roscommon 1800 234 114
    CHO Area 3 Limerick, Clare & North Tipperary 1800 234 115
    CH Cork, Kerry Cork & Kerry 1800 234 116
    CHO Area 5 Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow & South Tipperary 1800 234 118
    CH East South Dublin, South East Dublin & East Wicklow 1800 234 111
    CH Dublin South, Kildare & West Wicklow South West Dublin, Kildare & West Wicklow 1800 234 112
    CHO Area 8 Midlands: Laois, Offaly, Longford & Westmeath 1800 234 113
    CHO Area 1/8 Louth, Meath, Cavan & Monaghan 1800 234 117
    CHO Area 9 Dublin North & North City 1800 234 110

     

    Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) Information and Tracing services can be accessed here

    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Post:

    Information & Tracing Unit,

    Adoption Authority of Ireland,

    Shelbourne House,

    Shelbourne Road,

    Ballsbridge, 

    D04 H6F6

    Dublin 4

    OR 

    PO Box 9957

    Dublin 4

     

    The Adoption Authority Social Work Team provides mediation and counselling to people who have been involved in some third party and family adoptions.

    The team also offers information, advice and support about adoption related issues.

    Queries are welcome from members of the public as well as professionals.

    To contact the Social Work Team about any issue relating to adoption, please contact us by phone or email:

    Phone: 01 2309 306

    Outside of Ireland: +353 1 2309 306

    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

     

     

    The Adoption Authority is open until 2.00pm on Thursday 24 December 2020.

    The Authority will reopen at 09.00am on Monday 4 January 2021.

    With warm wishes of the season from everyone in the Authority. 

    The Adoption Authority of Ireland has released a special publication marking

    10 years of operation.

     

    Presented in chronological order, it charts adoption in Ireland since 1st November 2010.

    Ms Orlaith Traynor, the newly appointed Chairperson of the Authority (November 2020), said: "This booklet charts the work and progress of the Authority over its first ten years in operation, working towards our goal of developing a world-class adoption service in Ireland."

    On November 1st 2010, the Adoption Act 2010 came into effect, Ireland ratified the 1993 Hague Convention of Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, and the Adoption Authority of Ireland was established. The purpose of the new Authority was to be a regulator, ensuring high standards, and regulating and monitoring all adoption activities. The profile of children being adopted has changed significantly over these ten years, as has the landscape around adoption. The Authority has developed over the ten years to hear directly from children in adoption proceedings.

    Some key figures since the establishment of the Adoption Authority include:

    • 728 Domestic adoptions granted between 2010 and December 2019.
    • 815 matches created through the National Adoption Contact Preference Register (NACPR), linking adopted people and birth families.
    • 708 Intercountry adoptions granted.
    • 2232 entries made in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions (RICA) between 2010 and December 2019.

    We look forward to continuing to progress our mission to ensure the provision of the highest possible standards of adoption related services, throughout the lifelong adoption process, with the best interests of children as the first and paramount objective.

    The report in full may be accessed at https://aai.gov.ie/images/Celebrating_10_Years_of_the_Adoption_Authority_of_Ireland.pdf

     

     

     

    The Minister for Children, Disabilities, Equality & Integration, Roderic O’Gorman TD, has appointed a new Chairperson of the Board of the Adoption Authority of Ireland for the next five-year term commencing 2 November:

    https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/7ee0d-minister-ogorman-appoints-new-chair-deputy-chair-and-board-member-to-the-adoption-authority-of-ireland/

    The Authority welcomes Ms Orlaith Traynor as Chairperson, Mr Sean O’Brien as Deputy Chair and Professor Sheila Greene as a new ordinary Board member.

    Ms Orlaith Traynor – Chairperson

    Orlaith Traynor is a practicing solicitor with a particular expertise in family law. Orlaith has vast experience in the area of adoption, having previously served as Deputy Chairperson on An Bord Uchtála and the Adoption Authority of Ireland for many years. She has been in private practice as a Solicitor for 45 years and has a Master’s degree in Advanced Legal Practice from the Law Society of Ireland in conjunction with the University of Northumbria; the subject for her thesis was the Birth Father’s Rights in the context of adoption. Orlaith has an advanced Diploma in Quasi-Judicial Decision Making from King’s Inns. She has presented several papers on adoption at conferences organised by the Adoption Authority and has an article on adoption published in a peer-reviewed journal, the Irish Journal of Family Law. In her capacity as Deputy Chairperson of the Authority, along with the Chair and CEO, Orlaith visited Vietnam to meet the Minister for Children there and took the opportunity to visit a children’s orphanage.

    Mr Sean O’Brien – Deputy Chairperson

    Sean O’Brien graduated in law from University College Cork in 1983 and has been in practice as a Solicitor for over 30 years. Sean’s practice is primarily in civil litigation in which he has extensive experience. Sean has a particular interest in family law and has also, for many years, advised families of children with disabilities on the creation of Wills and Trusts. In addition, he has, since 2008, been an accredited Mediator with CEDR. Sean has, over the years, been a member of a number of publicly funded Boards, most recently serving as Chair of Youth Theatre Ireland. Sean’s experience of adoption stems from the fact that he is an adoptive father.

    Professor Sheila Greene – new Board member

    Sheila Greene is a Fellow Emeritus at Trinity College Dublin and former Professor of Childhood Research. She is a Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin. She is a qualified clinical psychologist but most of her teaching and research has been in developmental psychology. She was the Co-Director of the national longitudinal study of children in Ireland, Growing Up in Ireland from 2006-11. Her publications include books, journal articles and commissioned reports. Her most recent book is Children as agents in their worlds (Greene & Nixon, Routledge, 2020). She was the Principal Investigator on A study of intercountry adoption outcomes in Ireland, commissioned by the Adoption Board and published in 2007.

    The Board 2020-2025

    Ms Orlaith Traynor – Chairperson

    Mr Sean O’Brien – Vice Chair

    Professor Sheila Greene – Board member

    Mr Paul Harrison – Board member (returning)

    Dr Helen Buckley – Board member (returning

    Judge Patrick McMahon – Board member (returning)

    Dr Margo Anglim – Board member (returning)

    Profiles of all the Board members can be found at https://aai.gov.ie/en/who-we-are/membership-of-the-adoption-authority.html

    The new Board will convene for their inaugural meeting on Tuesday 10 November.

    The Authority thanks all returning Board members for taking on these roles and continuing to bring their skills and expertise to the Board, and is grateful to Dr Geoffrey Shannon, Chairperson, and Ms Anne O’Flaherty, Board member, whose terms have expired, for their dedication over the past several years.

     

    The Board of the Adoption Authority of Ireland and the Authority’s Research Advisory Committee are delighted to announce the publication of the second in a series of short research reports. Dr Geoffrey Shannon, Chairman of the Adoption Authority, said of this programme of research:

    This is important and detailed research, showing the history of intercountry adoption in Ireland over 30 years, and will inform further research initiatives of the Authority."

    This particular research report looks at the adoption of children from Russia into Ireland between 1992 and 2014.

     

    ·         Between 1992 and 2014, 1628 children were adopted from Russia by parents habitually resident in Ireland.

    ·         Adoptions from Russia accounted for the largest proportion of all intercountry adoptions into Ireland between 1991 and 2019, representing 33% of Ireland’s total intercountry adopted population.

    ·         The child’s average age at adoption was 1 year and 8 months.

    ·         Current Age, October 2020: 92% of this group are currently aged between 10 and 22, with 13-18 year olds accounting for over half of the total figure. The mean current age of a child adopted from Russia into Ireland is just over 16 and a half years old.

    ·         The population of Russian ICA individuals living in Ireland today came from a relatively homogenous background of institutionalised care, and are likely to have faced a number of early challenges.

    ·         The report in full is available below:

    https://aai.gov.ie/images/2020/Intercountry_Adoption_in_Ireland_-_Experiences_Supports_Challenges_-_Russia.pdf  

     

    For more information on our research, or to be added to our mailing list, please visit

     www.aai.gov.ie/en/what-we-do/research.html, call 01 2309 300, or email

     

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

    SUMMARY REPORT OF Children First Compliance report 2019/2020 

    The Adoption Authority’s Children First procedures are detailed in the Authority’s Child Safeguarding Statement. This has been updated in accordance with The Children First Act 2015 and The Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017. A Risk Assessment and Child Safeguarding Statement form part of the child protection procedures in the Adoption Authority.

    An annual Child Protection compliance report is sent to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Adoption Policy Unit.

    The Adoption Authority of Ireland does not provide direct services to children so there is limited contact with children, and children are supervised at all times by their parent or carer when in the Authority’s offices. It is policy within the organisation that staff, including Board members, Executive Staff, in house Solicitor and Medical Advisor also have access to confidential information about children, undergo regular Garda vetting. Child protection issues are routed through the Children First Designated Liaison Person to the appropriate Tusla personnel.

    Child protection concerns can come to the notice of the Authority through the mediation and counselling provided for the National Adoption Contact Preference Register; through reviews of assessments for adoption; or can be received through duty calls, letters and emails.

    Adoption service providers accredited by the AAI have written policies and procedures on Children First guidelines and these policies are noted to be current at review and accreditation times.

    The agencies currently holding a valid accreditation are: Pact, HHAMA, St. Brigid’s and Barnardos

    The Adoption Authority Children First Designated Liaison Person details:

    Katie Harrigan, Senior Social Work Practitioner, AAI, tel 01 2309 318, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    The Children First Deputy Designated Liaison Person is Nicole Scannell, Social Work Team Leader, AAI tel 01 2309 322, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Functions of the Children First Designated Liaison Person are also undertaken by Social Workers on in the organisation during specified times, Monday to Friday. Under the Children First Act 2015, all social workers and the Medical Advisor at the Authority, are Mandated Persons for the purposes of reporting issues of child protection above a certain threshold to relevant Tusla personnel.

    All Authority Board members and executive staff who have access to confidential information about children, are Garda vetted every 2 years. New staff members are vetted on entry to the Authority every 2 years. New vetting policy and procedures are being carried out in compliance with the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016.

    The Garda Vetting Officer in the AAI is Fiona Monaghan, Head of Compliance and Resources. Contact details are Fiona Monaghan, Head of Compliance and Resources, tel 01 2309 347, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    The Children First Compliance report summarises the number and type of calls to the social work phone line covering a one-year period (1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.)

    Here2Help's Information and Tracing Service closed permanently on 30/06/2020.

    Here2Help's Crisis Pregnancy and Post Termination Counselling Services closed permanently on 31/12/2019.

    If you are seeking unplanned pregnancy advice or abortion aftercare, please contact the My Options helpline on freephone 1800828010 or www.myoptions.ie

    Here2Help, accredited by the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) provided an Information and Tracing service to those whose records were held by the Agency. It is with great regret that the Board of Here2Help made the decision to close this service in 2020.

    The decision to close resulted from the increasing costs and challenges for a small Agency to continue to provide a professional social work service and to comply with the governance requirements of the Charity Regulator; the funding agency, Tusla; and the Adoption Authority of Ireland. 

    A phased closure of the Information and Tracing service commenced in January 2020 and the service closed on 30 June 2020. The Agency can no longer respond to any new enquiries after this date. 

    Anybody wishing to submit an enquiry on or after 1 July 2020 may do so to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. An acknowledgement only will issue, and the request will be transferred to the new Agency who will provide an Information & Tracing Service once the details and all legal issues have been resolved. No Information and Tracing services are available from Here2Help. 

    The Administration Team are in discussions with the AAI to agree where the service, wait list, files and records will transfer to. Information about the new service provider will be posted here on the conclusion of these discussions and details will be posted here. 

     

     

    Following the launch of the Adoption Authority of Ireland's 2019 Annual Report, CEO Patricia Carey spoke on RTE Radio One about the Report, in addition to the Adoption Authority's achievements this year, in continuing to provide a full public service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    The interview can be listened to at this link: https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/21816822

     

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    Mission Statement

    " To ensure the provision of the highest possible standards of adoption related services, throughout the lifelong adoption process, with the best interests of children as the first and paramount objective."

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