Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (608)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

608. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of persons that have registered with the National Adoption Contact Preference Register since its inception; the number that have been matched; the percentage of birth parents that registered the following preferences, willing to meet, exchange of letters or information or contact by phone, no contact but willing to share medical information, no contact but willing to share some information, no contact at the moment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10093/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The National Adoption Contact Register (NACPR) was established in 2005 to assist adopted people and their natural families to make contact with each other, exchange information or state their contact preferences. Applicants decide, through a range of information and contact options, how they wish to proceed. It is intended that the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2013 will provide for placing the National Contact Preference Register on a statutory basis. I hope to submit the draft Heads of Bill to Cabinet for approval shortly.

At the end of 2012 there were 7224 adopted people and 3165 natural relatives registered with the NACPR. Just over 600 “matches” in total have been generated, i.e. over 600 adopted persons have been matched with one (or more) natural relatives. In 2012 the Information and Tracing Unit processed 542 new applications to join the Register, which resulted in 54 “matches”.

The Authority advises that around 80% of the natural relative applicants are parents, around 10% of them choose to have no direct contact, but may be willing to exchange some information. A majority of those choose to be discretely informed if a "matching" application was received and some of those changed their contact option when subsequently informed that a match had occurred. The Authority advises that people can, and do, change their minds about the type and extent of contact that they want and the Authority are happy to amend their applications accordingly.

The Adoption Board published a review of the operation of the Register from 2005 to 2007 in November 2007. This review contains detailed information about the register and is available on the Information and Tracing section of the Authority website,www.aai.gov.ie.