...regaining identities, histories and rights for adopted people...  

Refused your birth certificate by the Adoption Authority?  Click here to learn how to locate it for yourself.



Adoption Rights Alliance campaigns to ensure that the Irish government enshrines the rights of the adopted child and Ireland's 50,000 adult adopted people in legislation. Our mission is to advocate equal human and civil rights for those affected by Ireland's closed secret adoption system. The most recent adoption legislation - the 2010 Adoption Bill - was enacted without a single provision for the people affected most by adoption - the adopted child and adopted adults.

Adoption Rights Alliance believes that the following legislative changes should be made:

  • Access to Birth Certificates
  • Access to Adoption Files
  • Statutory based information and tracing services 
  • Strict regulations for adoption agency practice and procedure
  • The deregistration of all church based adoption agencies
  • Safeguarding of all adoption files
  • The right to know you are adopted
  • Inquiry into illegal adoptions
  • Inquiry into vaccine trials 
  • Adoption Authority operations under Freedom of Information & Ombudsman’s Acts
  • Stricter regulations for intercountry adoptions & the abolition of bilateral agreements
  • Inquiry into the treatment of women in Mother and Baby Homes
  • Information rights for those conceived by assisted human reproduction/embryo adoption

In 2003, along with other people affected by and interested in adoption, a group of adult adopted people took part in an extensive adoption legislation consultation process arranged by Brian Lenihan TD, the then Junior Minister with responsibility for children.  The consultation process was designed to gather the wishes of adopted people on the important subject of post-adoption rights and services; an area almost completely ignored by the primary 1952 legislation.  Hundreds of submissions were made and the overwhelming message was for state funded and state run search and reunion services and for new legislation enshrining the rights of adopted people to obtain their birth certificates and to trace natural family members.  

The 2010 Adoption Bill sponsored by Minister Barry Andrews, then Minister for Children completely ignored post-adoption rights and services and reduces adoption from a “life-long event” to a base contractual process and does not include provision for adopted people to know that they are adopted!

The legislation merely shoehorned the provisions of the Hague Convention concerning intercountry adoption into the old 1952 statute and adopted people continue to be denied access to their birth certificates, early hospital records and family histories.  Equally disturbing is that there is zero provision for post-adoption support services for families who have recently adopted.

On June 12th 2009 the Irish government pledged to cherish all the children of the state equally but the 2010 Adoption Act, a bald Charter for Adoption, allows 57 year old statute to continue discrimination against 50,000+ adopted people and their families.

If you agree that adopted people should have equal rights visit this link to learn how to help.

Click the links for our Mission StatementAims & Objectives and Public Disclosure Statement

“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning . . . and the most disquieting loneliness." 

Alex Haley, Author of Roots 





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