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    Intercountry Adoption in Ireland: Experiences, Supports, Challenges

    Country Briefings: Vietnam

    The Board of the Adoption Authority of Ireland and the Authority’s Research Advisory Committee are delighted to announce the second in a series of five planned country-specific briefings. This particular research report looks at the adoption of children from Vietnam into Ireland between 1988 and 2020.

    Ms Orlaith Traynor, Chair of the Adoption Authority, said of this report:

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

    • Between 1988 and 2020, 914 children were adopted from Vietnam by parents resident in Ireland.
    • Adoptions from Vietnam accounted for the second largest proportion of all intercountry adoptions (ICA) into Ireland between 1988 and 2020, representing 18% of Ireland’s total current ICA population.
    • The children’s average age at adoption was 7 months prior to the Adoption Act 2010, rising to 2 years old thereafter.
    • Currently, individuals who were adopted from Vietnam into Ireland range from 3-40 years old, with 83% aged between 12 and 20. 12-15 year olds account for more than half of the total figure.

    The report in full is available here.


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

    our Research page, call 01 2309 317, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    UPDATE: Information and tracing service being provided on Here2Help files from the 1st of September 2021

    From the 1st of September 2021, the Adoption Authority of Ireland will have responsibility for the provision of a social work service to clients whose adoptions were managed by Here2Help. If clients have previously been on a waiting list for information relating to their adoption or a tracing service with Here2Help, they do not need to contact us. The AAI will take responsibility of this waiting list and their cases will be allocated to a social worker in due course. All further requests for an information and tracing service should be directed to the Information and Tracing section of the Adoption Authority.


    Contact the Information and Tracing Unit:

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

     Telephone: 01 2309300 (option 3)

    Ms Orlaith Traynor, Chairperson of the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI), is pleased to announce the publication of the AAI Annual Report 2020. The report sets out in detail the activities of the Authority throughout the year and developments in adoption in Ireland.

    In a landmark year, for the first time since its establishment in 2010, the Authority used remote technology to hold adoption hearings and orders. With Chairman Dr Geoffrey Shannon presiding, the Board granted 39 adoption orders via Zoom during the COVID-19 lockdown. The remaining 42 of the total 81 adoption orders granted in 2020 took place in person under strict social distancing protocols. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the AAI operated and delivered a full service in its capacity as a quasi-judicial body.


    Key Points




    Barnardos Post Adoption and Origins Services are now funded to provide individual and group therapeutic support to adults from their Cork centre.

    Click the links to access information on Barnardos’ services for children and teenagers and for adults.


    The Adoption Authority appeared before the Committee on Children, Equality, Disability, Integration & Youth at 3.30pm on 15 June 2021 for pre-legislative scrutiny of the general scheme of the Birth Information & Tracing Bill 2021.

    The AAI Opening Statement is here.

    Please note

    The Birth Information & Tracing Bill May 2021 has not passed.

    This means it is not law.

    The Draft Bill will go through a number of stages in the Oireachtas, and there may be changes made to this Draft Bill.

    The Authority does not have a time for when this will happen.

    The Authority cannot currently automatically release birth certificates.

    Please see this link to further information and FAQs on the Draft Bill


    Please see this link for the current procedure for application for an original birth certificate


    We will update the AAI website with all new information on the Draft Bill as we receive it.

    Patricia Carey


    Adoption Authority of Ireland

    The Adoption Authority of Ireland warmly welcomes the publication of the long-awaited draft Birth Information & Tracing legislation by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth today.

    As the state’s regulator for adoption and custodian of a significant number of adoption files and records, including all adoption files from the enactment of the first adoption legislation in 1953, the Adoption Authority believes this is the right time and it is correct to give adoptees their birth certificates, early life information and - critically - medical information.

    The Authority welcomes the retention of the National Adoption Contact Preference Register operated by Authority since 2005 with over 12,000 unique applicants on the register seeking information about and in some instances contact with family of origin relatives.

    Over the coming months, the Authority will work closely with the Department to ensure its readiness to provide information to those seeking birth certificates and other early life information.

    The Authority holds over 70,000 adoption files and records and is delighted that the bill provides for the Authority becoming a designated ‘Place of Deposit’ under the National Archives Act.

    For comment, please contact CEO Patricia Carey

    01 230 9329 | 086 830 1228 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Support and tracing services are available from the Adoption Authority:

    Web:   https://aai.gov.ie/

    Post:   PO Box 9957

               Dublin D04 H6F6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Information & Tracing Unit)

               This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Social Work Unit)

    Forms for those seeking birth relatives:



    On this Friday, 12 March 2021, the offices of the Adoption Authority will close at 1pm in order to facilitate an essential ICT system upgrade. The offices will reopen for business at 9.30am on Monday 15 March 2021. 

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) required that a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) be conducted on the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation's transfer of its databases and related records to Tusla, in order to identify and minimise any associated data protection risks. Before and since receiving the databases and related records, Tusla's Data Protection Unit carried out an initial DPIA. Tusla's Data Protection Officer representing the public interest monitored the development of the DPIA. 

    Tusla welcomes and is happy to receive any observations or comments that the public may have on the DPIA. Further details about the DPIA and how to request information is available at this link.

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

    Post: Data Protection Officer, Tusla, 6th Floor, Brunel Building, Heuston South Quarter, St. John's Road West, D08 X01F

    For access to information contained within the databases and related records or any other record held by the Adoption service, through either a data subject access request (Access) or freedom of information (FOI) request, please email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Information on making an Access request to Tusla is available here

    Information on making an FOI request to Tusla is available here

    If you previously made an Access or FOI request to Tusla, particularly regarding identity, a new request will not necessarily provide additional or differing information to that which was already received. You can however be assured that every request will be treated as new and responded to with the intention of releasing as much information as possible. 

    Tusla is legally permitted to use the databases only for the purpose of processing data subject access and FOI requests until robust information and tracing legislation is introduced. However, we will continue to provide trace/search/ reunion requests from all of the paper records we hold. Tusla also recognises that the databases and related records could have significant further value in the coming years, and every effort will be made in the intervening time to use it to maximum benefit. 



    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



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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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