Original Birth Certificate Requests
Under existing legislation, an adopted adult has no automatic access to their original birth certificate. This is because all birth certificates contain personal information about the birth mother and her right to confidentiality must be respected.
When the Adoption Authority receives your request for the release of your original birth certificate, we will acknowledge your request in writing. In the letter we will provide you with the contact details for the adoption agency that will be assisting us with your request. Where the original adoption agency is closed we will give the contact details for the agency which now holds the files for the closed agency. In most cases this will be one of the offices of Tusla - Child and Family Agency.
We will write to the adoption agency and ask them to provide us with a report which will assist us in making a decision about the release of your birth certificate. A social worker in the agency will be assigned to your case. Their report to us will include the following:
- Details of their contact with you and your birth mother;
- Details of your birth mother’s views on the release of the birth certificate;
- Details of your hopes and expectations about getting your birth certificate and the information which may be on the certificate. This is of particular importance in cases where your birth mother may not be open to contact, or where she may be opposed to the release of identifying information;
- A recommendation from the social worker about the release or non-release of your birth certificate based on their findings during the process.
If your birth mother cannot be located the report must outline all the efforts that have been made to find her. If it is discovered that your birth mother is deceased, a copy of her death certificate must be provided with the report.
Generally, the Adoption Authority will release birth certificates where a birth mother has agreed in writing to the birth certificate being released, or where it has been confirmed that she is deceased and there are no other issues arising.
In all other cases your request and report from your social worker is referred to the Board of the Adoption Authority for a decision.
The Adoption Authority may refuse to release a birth certificate where a birth mother has been consulted and is opposed to the release of the birth certificate or where it considers a birth mother’s privacy or safety might be put at risk by the release of the birth certificate.
When a decision has been made by the Adoption Authority a letter will be sent to you and to the social worker who has provided the report. If the birth certificate is being released the Adoption Authority will check with the social worker to see if you would like the birth certificate posted directly to you by the Adoption Authority, or if you would prefer to receive it from the social worker you have been dealing with.