Since 1864 all Irish birth certificates have been public records, available to anyone who wishes to visit the General Register Office. Adopted people are the only Irish citizens who are denied the ability to retrieve their own birth certificate, because institutions and individuals in control of adopted people’s files refuse to inform adopted people of their name at birth (which was changed in many cases).
An adopted person’s birth certificate contains considerably less information than that of a non-adopted person. For example, an adopted person’s birth certificate generally does not have the name of the father, the father’s occupation and the parents’ address–there are no contact details provided. The examples provided below illustrate the contrast between the two.
There is no reason why the government cannot immediately provide adopted people with unconditional access to their birth certificates.
If you are an adopted person and you have your birth certificate: if you feel able to do so, we suggest that you send a copy of your birth certificate to TDs and Senators. If you don’t have a scanner, just take a photo on your phone. If you prefer, you can redact the details on the certificate.
to download a sample letter to include with your birth certificate.
to download a list of all TD and Senator emails.
- Sample of a non-adopted person’s birth certificate
- Sample of an adopted person’s birth certificate