I propose to take Questions Nos. 702 to 706, inclusive, together.
A Public Services Card (PSC) may be issued to a person who has successfully completed a SAFE 2 identity registration. The person’s Public Service Identity Dataset is verified as part of this process. Adopted people are treated in the same way as other individuals in terms of verification of identity. Name, date of birth, place of birth and mother’s birth surname are generally verified from the birth certificate or, in the case of an adopted person, from an adoption certificate.
Generally, in the case of an adopted person, the details on the birth register will be different to those on the adoption register and are not consistent with their current identity.
As my Department has access to the Irish Birth Register, the above details can be verified without the need for the individual to physically present a birth certificate, providing that the record can be located on the Register.
However, in contrast, my Department does not have access to the Irish Adoption Register. Accordingly, staff would not be aware of a customer’s adoption status. In such circumstances, the individual is asked to bring a copy of their adoption certificate. This requirement is stated clearly in SAFE 2 registration invitation letters and on my Department’s website.
When a person presents for a SAFE 2 appointment without a birth certificate, and their birth registration details cannot be located on the Register, they are asked to contact the General Register Office (GRO) to obtain same. This could be a birth certificate or an adoption certificate. No reference to adoption is made.
Regarding a person, unaware of their adoption status, finding this out as a result of attending for SAFE registration, this situation presents itself for such persons in all instances where they are required to provide their birth details, for example, passport applications. Discussions are ongoing with the Adoption Authority and the GRO with regard to how best to verify such details for adoptive persons.
For persons adopted in Ireland, there are two forms of certificate, a full certificate and an abridged certificate. Both are acceptable for the purposes of SAFE registration. Where persons are requested by the Department to provide a birth or adoption certificate, there is a reduced fee of €1.00.
With regard to the number of adopted persons who have undergone SAFE registration, the Department does not hold information on a person’s adoptive status.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.