...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.



Tracing Handbooks
Click here for Tracing Handbooks which will assist you in locating your birth certificate/adoption order and conducting your trace.

Click here for information and advice regarding Search Angels/Volunteers

About to reunite?
If you are about to reunite with a natural parent and/or family member and would like to talk about how to approach the situation, please feel free to contact us for a chat.  

Note:  This service is operated on a peer support basis and is not a counselling service.  It is also dependent on our availability, as we are a completely voluntary organisation.

Private Investigators
We advise against using Private Investigators, who in our experience, are usually neither trained nor experienced in the area of adoption and will often employ methods that are completely unsuitable to adoption traces.

Myths and Facts...

The "Illegal" Myth
If you have been told it is illegal for adopted people and natural parents to trace for themselves, this is completely untrue.  The records used in tracing are on public record and are the same records used by genealogists.  Quite simply, you are doing nothing wrong.

The Birth Certificate Myth
The Adoption Board states that natural mothers must first be contacted before it will release a birth certificate to an adopted person.  This is completely unnecessary and by using this Tracing Handbook you can obtain your birth certificate without having to contact your natural mother first.

The "Original Birth Certificate" Myth
Every person who is born has his or her birth entered in the Register of Births, from which birth certificates are generated.  Adopted people’s births are registered in their original identity, however when they were adopted, they were entered into the Adopted Children’s Register in their new adoptive identity.  The document used by adopted people as a birth certificate in everyday life is in fact an “Extract from the Adopted Children’s Register”.  The term “original birth certificate” is incorrect, because each person has only one birth certificate.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at tracing@adoptionrightsalliance.com 

Magdalene Laundries

If your natural mother was incarcerated in a Magdalene Laundry please see the Research Guide below which may be of help to you.  

Research Guide for Relatives of Magdalene Women

If you are a natural mother who was incarcerated in a Magdalene Laundry and would like to obtain your records please see the Research Guide below which may be of help to you.  

Research Guide for Magdalene Survivors

Please also visit the Justice for Magdalenes website here.

Click the links below for various resources...

History and Heritage

Information and Records

Click here for the General Registrar's Office

Online certificate ordering
You can order certificates online here.

For information on records for Northern Ireland visit the Public Records Office 

Can You Help?
Do you have unwanted Thom's Directories (any year)?  Do you have old phonebooks you are no longer using?  If so we would be happy to take them off your hands.  If you have these or any materials that you feel might be of help to us in assisting adopted people to research their natural families contact us.  Thank you!

The information we provide is free of charge.  However we are all volunteers and do not receive funding of any kind.

If you would like to make a donation to help cover our expenses you can send a cheque to: 

Adoption Rights Alliance
The Mill House,
Millview Road,
Co. Dublin


“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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