Press Release

Minister Brian Lenihan launches the Adoption Board’s National Adoption Contact Preference Register

Brian Lenihan, T.D., Minister for Children, today (Wednesday, 30th March) launched the first State provided National Adoption Contact Preference Register.

The Register has been developed by the Adoption Board as part of its expanding Information and Tracing service.

At today’s launch the Minister highlighted the significant contribution that the main stakeholder groups and adoption service provider groups have made to the successful development of the Register.

The purpose of the new Register is to assist adopted people and their natural families who wish to make contact. The Register will also allow people who do not wish to have contact with their natural family to register their decision. The Register gives adopted people and their natural relatives a choice.

The choices available on the Register are:

  • Willing to meet;
  • Willing to exchange letters/information or to make contact via telephone/e-mail;
  • No contact at the moment but willing to share medical information;
  • No contact at the moment but willing to share personal information;
  • No contact at the moment.

Participation is completely voluntary and the Register is strictly confidential. Only approved Adoption Board staff will have access to the Register.

Contact through the Register will only be initiated where both parties register for contact. Adopted people, natural parents and any natural relative of an adopted person can apply to join the Register. You must be 18 years of age or over to join.

People who want to join the Register will complete an application form. This is being delivered to every household in the State beginning on the 11th April and will be available on the Adoption Board’s website at from that date.

When a match is made the two parties will be individually contacted confidentially by the Adoption Board. How they wish to proceed will then be discussed with them.

Minister Lenihan said that he is particularly pleased that the launch of the Register today is happening at a time of real change in adoption. The Minister recently announced new adoption legislation which will also provide a statutory basis for the new Register.

Minister Lenihan has provided additional resources to expand the adoption Information and Tracing service in 2005.