Origins Tracing Service

Origins Tracing Service is for people who spent all or part of their childhood in an Irish Industrial School and are interested in tracing information about their parents, siblings or other relatives. The service is available to people in Ireland and abroad.

What does Origins Tracing Service do?

Experienced professional staff offer advice, support and mediation in your search for your family of origin. Approximately 50% of the cases dealt with by the Origins Tracing Service have led to a reunion with their family of origin. Many of these cases involved reuniting sisters and brothers who were separated as children.

The service is completely confidential.

Excellent service, very happy to have found my family.

Where is the Origins Tracing Service?

The Origins Tracing Service is based in Dublin, however people who use the service live all over the world.  Staff can meet or speak with you by phone to explain the process and answer any questions you might have.

Does it cost anything?

The service is completely free of charge, and is fully funded by the Department of Education and Science.

What might happen?

There is a good success rate in finding family members. The team is available to offer practical and emotional support and to facilitate contact with family members we might find.

In some cases, the person being traced may be deceased, or may not wish to have contact. Sometimes, after all known avenues are exhausted, no new information can be found.

Origins Tracing Service counsellors offer support and advice whatever the outcome.

I am just glad I know who I am.

What do you do next?

If you would like to get in touch with Origins Tracing Service about tracing or looking for information about your family of origin, please contact us by telephone, email or letter. You will be sent an application and consent form to complete.

You can also download our Application Form and our Consent Form, complete both and send them to origins@barnardos.ie. There is a short waiting list, cases are prioritised by age or other special circumstances, for example health issues.

I would like to meet my sister, this has been my life-long aim, even if it is only for one day.

Service limitations

The Origins Tracing Service does not offer a tracing service for people who were adopted or for those people who were separated from their families but did not spend time in an Industrial School.

Contact Us

23-24 Lower Buckingham St, Dublin 1

(+353 1) 813 4100  origins@barnardos.ie