I am aware that there is an estimated 50,000 records relating to adoption that are not in the custody of either Tusla or the Adoption Authority of Ireland. The Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016 provides for the Adoption Authority of Ireland to be responsible for collecting, restoring, preserving and safekeeping adoption records, including information relating to persons whose birth was illegally registered. The Bill also creates offences in relation to the concealment, destruction, mutilation and falsification of these records.
Preparatory work in relation to rationalisation of records, and preparation for the implementation, is already underway between the DCYA, Tusla and the AAI.
The protection and collation of these records is of the utmost importance and the mechanism to achieve this is the enactment of the Bill. The Bill is a priority for me and it is my intention to bring it to Committee Stage in the Seanad as quickly as possible.