Almost 13,000 people have completed applications requesting information about their identity under the landmark Birth Information and Tracing Act. 

The Act, signed into law in June 2022, has established a robust tracing service and a Contact Preference Register to support people affected by illegal birth registration, including those who spent time in a Mother and Baby Home or Magdelene Laundries. 

Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman published the figures on June 12 in the second Annual Report on the implementation of the Government’s Action Plan for Survivors and Former Residents of Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions.

The report details that over 12,900 people have made applications for information about their identity since services commenced in October 2022.

It further details the Government's ongoing efforts to establish a national memorial for the victims of Mother and Baby Homes, announced in July 2023. 

The report notes that the Government is preparing an application for planning permission to establish the National Centre for Research and Remembrance on Sean McDermott Street. 

The Office of Public Works has also begun the first phase of works to make the remaining buildings at the site safe to access and to facilitate future works.

Meanwhile, the report further noted that the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme opened to applicants in March 2024, with the first offers of awards issued in April. In May, the first payments were made and the first enhanced medical cards were issued. 

Patricia Carey was also appointed as Special Advocate for Survivors on March 25 following a lengthy recruitment process and will be responsible for amplifying the voices of survivors of Industrial and Reformatory Schools, Magdalen Laundries, Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions, as well as those who were adopted and boarded out.

O'Gorman additionally established an independent office at the site of the former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam in May 2023 as part of the Industrial Burials Act 2022, which seeks to ensure that the remains of those who died at Mother and Baby Homes are given dignified burials. 

Speaking after the publication of the report, O'Gorman said the Government has worked tirelessly to deliver on commitments made to survivors. 

"It is heartening to see the Birth Information and Tracing Act delivering long-awaited information for so many people, and I would like to thank Tusla and the Adoption Authority of Ireland for their efforts in this regard," O'Gorman said in a statement. 

"Progress made on the site at Tuam, and the appointment of a Special Advocate for Survivors, demonstrate that the Government is delivering on its promises made to all those affected by Mother and Baby Institutions.

"I published the Action Plan for Survivors and Former Residents of Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions on behalf of Government in November 2021. Since then, we have worked intensively to deliver on the commitments made to survivors.

"I am pleased to be able to publish this second annual report detailing the meaningful progress we have achieved in that time."