A total of 891 people, including 17 from the United States, have applied to Ireland's new Contact Preference Register (CPR) over the past four weeks.
The register was created following the commencement of the Birth and Tracement Act 2022, which provides full and unrestricted legal entitlement to birth certificates for anyone who was adopted, boarded out, had their births illegally registered, or had any other questions in relation to their origin.
They are also entitled to any birth, early-life care, and medical information.
Adoptees and relatives of people who were adopted can make applications to the CPR, which is operated by the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI). Those wishing to make contact, request privacy, or seek or share information with a relative can all submit applications to the CPR.
Of the 891 people who submitted applications, 820 expressed a desire for contact at some level, while 32 people requested no contact. A further 39 applicants did not want contact but were willing to share information.
Meanwhile, 786 applications came from adopted people, while 90 came from parents and a further 15 applications came from other relatives.
The majority of applications came from Ireland (786), while 105 applications came from people overseas.
The highest number of overseas applications came from the UK, with 50 people submitting applications, while the US was second with 17 applicants. Australia (4) was the third-highest on the list.
The mean age of both adoptees and relatives was 50, with the oldest application coming from an 81-year-old. The youngest application came from a five-year-old, submitted by their adoptive parents.
More than 48,000 children were adopted in Ireland between 1953 and 2021, while a further 2,000 were sent abroad and adopted in other countries.
It is estimated that more than 20,000 children were "boarded out" - meaning sent to live with a foster family - before 1953 when adoption was not legal in Ireland.
In a statement, Adoption Authority CEO Patricia Carey said she was "very encouraged" by the number of applications in the four weeks since the launch of the CPR in July.
"Most families in Ireland have been touched by adoption at some stage. The Adoption Authority is determined to reach as many people as possible – to let them know they can find out about their origins and to encourage all those eligible under the legislation to register their preferences on the Contact Preference Register," Carey said.
A booklet on important services that will be provided under the new legislation is currently being circulated to every Irish household as part of a public information campaign, while information and tracing services are set to open in October.