The Irish Government has announced a payment scheme for any mother and baby who spent time in one of the Mother and Baby Homes or County Homes listed on the Government’s Action Plan.
(Please note, applications for this payment scheme are due to open this year, but what month exactly is not yet known. Our Survivor Support Service receive regular updates from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability and Youth (DCEDIY) and will let you know, as soon as we know, when the application opens)
Any updates to this payment scheme can be found here.
Applicants will qualify based on proof of residency and without the need to evidence abuse, medical evidence or sworn affidavits. Only in limited circumstances, will sworn affidavits be required, for example, in the case of a person who was resident in a County Home for which records no longer exist.
Where a person would have qualified as an applicant but died on or after the 13th January 2021, the date of An Taoiseach’s apology to Survivors, the spouse or children of that person or their estate may make an application to the scheme on behalf of that deceased person.
Currently, financial payments will not extend to those who spent less than six months in one of the institutions as an infant. However, this decision may change and if it does, it will be announced in the updates we receive from the DCEDIY and on our website.
A form of enhanced Irish medical card will also be provided to everybody who was resident in a Mother and Baby or County Home Institution for six months or more.
Those who are eligible for the card but who live overseas will have the choice to receive an enhanced HSE medical card or a once-off payment of 3,000 euro instead of the card as a contribution towards their medical health needs.
For further information about this upcoming payment scheme, please contact our National Response Freephone Line on 0800 519 5519 and speak with Séan our Survivor Information Adviser.
Our Response Freephone Line is open 10am – 4pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Alternatively, please see contact details below if you want to speak with the DCEDIY directly:
Please note that although the application is not yet open, you can seek records held of your time spent in the Home(s) connected to you. You can do this by filling out this SAR form (Subject Access Request) and send it to the address provided on the form. Alternatively, you can contact Sean on 0800 519 5519 for his support. Sean can assist you in filling out the form and send it off on your behalf.
You can also contact them directly if you require further information or advice on their SAR information line:
Additionally, if you know of any person who may also be eligible for this Payment scheme, living in Manchester, the North-West or Coventry regions, they can also contact our partners for support:
Simon McCarthy: Manager, Coventry Irish Society (Coventry Region)
Patrick Rodgers: Mother & Baby Homes/County Homes Project Coordinator (Fréa) Irish Community Care (Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds)
ICAP (Immigrant Counselling and Psychotherapy)
If you and anyone you know finds this upcoming payment scheme upsetting in any way, there is a counselling service delivered by ICAP (Immigrant Counselling and Psychotherapy), free to all Irish Survivors of Institutional Abuse and now with a dedicated and confidential service for anyone affected by the Mother and Baby and County Homes Institutions. They can support you with any issues or concerns that you may be facing and have therapy centres in Finsbury Park (London) and Digbeth (Birmingham).
The Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022 was signed into law by Michael D Higgins on 28th June 2022. For the first time in Irish history, adopted and boarded out individuals will be given a legal right to find out their birth identity.
It grants a right of access to birth certificates and birth/early life information for all individuals who were adopted, boarded out or the subject of illegal birth registrations.
With the passing of this legislation comes the establishment of a new tracing service and a Contact Preference Register. Free counselling and support services will also be offered upon request to all applicants.
The Contact Preference Register (operated by Adoption Authority of Ireland) enables people to record their preferences regarding contact and the exchange of their personal information. It is also highlighted that the Contact Preference Register must be open for a minimum of three months before applications for birth certificates and birth information will be accepted. The Information and Tracing services will be made available from October of this year.
This legislation also guarantees the safeguarding of significant records, which will contribute to the development of the National Centre for Research and Remembrance (planned to be situated on the site of a former Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott Street, Dublin).
For more information on this please refer to the following links:
Access to birth and early life information is changing – Birth Information & Tracing
Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022 – No. 14 of 2022 – Houses of the Oireachtas
gov.ie – Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2022 passes all stages in Oireachtas (www.gov.ie)
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