The Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2022 seeks to enshrine in law the importance of a person knowing his or her origins. It aims to address the difficulties currently faced by people in accessing birth and early life information through a fresh approach which guarantees the full and un-redacted release of such information to persons who have attained the age of 16 years.
In summary, the Bill provides for:
The Bill also amends the Civil Registration Act 2004 to address key issues arising for people
affected by illegal birth registration by:
It is intended that the Bill will also contain further measures to address issues arising for people affected by illegal birth registration, particularly succession issues.
Under the legislation, the following people over the age of 16 years will be able to apply for birth certificates, birth information, early life information, care information and medical information:
The legislation uses a term “relevant person”, to represent all the categories of people described above who will benefit from this legislation.
Importantly, where a relevant person is now deceased, their son or daughter (termed a “qualifying person” in the legislation) will have the same right to apply for information that relates to their parent, as long as the relevant person’s parents are also deceased. In other words, they can receive the same suite of birth certificate, birth, early life, care and medical information that their parent (the relevant person) would have been entitled to receive. Furthermore, a next of kin of a relevant person can also apply for this information where the relevant person died whilst resident as a child in an institution as listed in the legislation. In the legislation, a next of kin in this circumstance is defined as a “qualifying relative” and the order of hierarchy of next of kin is set out.
The Bill is currently at stage 7 which is the Debate Stage of Seanad Éireann (second stage).
The Bill can be viewed here: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/bills/bill/2022/3/?tab=bill-text
A list of all amendments to the Bill can be accessed here: https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/bill/2022/3/dail/4/amendment/numberedList/eng/b03a22d-drnl.pdf