79 people placed for adoption in St Patrick’s Guild may not know they’re adopted, it has been revealed.
Tusla - the child and family agency - has identified 126 cases between 1946 and 1969 where births were incorrectly registered.
They are cases where the adoptive parents of the child were recorded as the birth parents without an adoption order.
79 of the people affected "may be entirely unaware of the true circumstances of their birth", according to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
An independent review has been ordered into the incorrect registration at St Patrick’s Guild.
Children's Minister Katherine Zappone said the revelations could have "very personal and profound implications for those affected”.
She explained: “We have known about the practice of incorrect registrations for many years, but it has been extremely difficult to identify and prove in individual cases because of the deliberate failure of those involved to keep records.
"However, Tusla has found clear evidence in the case of some records previously held by St Patrick’s Guild.”
She added: "People have the right to know of their true origins and, where we have clear evidence, I believe we have an obligation to tell the people affected. Some may know already, but for others it will be entirely new and very difficult information indeed."
Tusla says it is working to identify, locate and contact those affected as a matter of urgency, but says it "cannot say with certainty how long this process will take" as "tracing people is often slow, labour-intensive work".
However, it stresses it has put together an experienced team with the aim of completing the work as quickly as possible.
Tusla is operating a Freephone helpline for anyone seeking information, available on 1800-805-665 between 10am and 4pm on weekdays.