Irish police have been asked to carry out a criminal investigation into illegal adoptions and birth registrations surrounding the 126 cases disclosed last week.
A final decision on whether anyone should face trial will be made by Ireland’s Director of Public Prosecutions. Ireland’s Garda National Protective Services Bureau handles child protection and human trafficking cases. It will investigate ten files given to it last week by Tusla, Ireland’s official child and family agency, which relate to false birth registrations which were part of the 126 records from St Patrick’s Guild (SPG) adoption agency.
The 126 men and women known to be affected are to be contacted and told that their births had been deliberately and falsely registered between 1946 and 1969. An estimated hundred or so of those people are thought not to know that they were adopted as babies because they were registered as being born to their adoptive parents and not their natural ones.
All the cases related to St Patrick’s Guild and, says the Irish government, were identified during an analysis of 13,500 adoption records. The Irish government says it has set up an independent review to conduct a “targeted” sampling exercise of 100,000 further records to determine how widespread the practice was in other adoption agencies.
A spokesman for Ireland’s Department of Children and Youth Affairs said that depending on the results of that exercise, decisions could then be taken on any further investigation.
The irregularities were discovered when an index card was found on the 126 files which read “adopted from birth”, a phrase unfamiliar to Tusla officials.
Tusla says social workers are trying to identify and locate the 126 people so it can discuss their birth registrations. It said: “We are very aware that this will be a shock for people affected and may cause upset and anxiety.