The discovery of adoption files in the National Archives sees a surge in requests for people looking for information about their birth mothers and the circumstances of their adoptions.

The 1,500 files at the National Archives of Ireland provide details of names, dates of birth and information on babies sent to America in the 1950s and 1960s. They also provide details of birth mothers and adoptive parents.

The revelation has opened a floodgate of inquiries but no individual will be allowed access until the government reviews its legal position.

Archivist at the National Archives Catriona Crowe expresses her sympathies with all the individuals concerned. She outline issues surrounding confidentiality in regard to birth mothers and adoptive parents which require consideration before the information can be made available.

Maggie Butler was born in Dublin in 1951 and sent to America for adoption. After 20 years searching for her birth mother, she discovered that her name had been falsified on her birth certificate. She encourages people in the US that are looking for their birth parents to contact the Department of Foreign Affairs, to seek counselling and to consider what all of this will mean for all concerned.

Since the discovery of the files, the phone lines of Barnardo's Childcare Agency have been jammed.

Norah Gibbons of Barnardos advises anyone with an interest in discovering more about the files to write to them and also to contact the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The Adoption Action Group is calling for the immediate establishment of a contact register. Anton Sweeney of the Adoption Action Group believes the contact register is especially important for people whose records were falsified.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 March 1996. The reporter is Teresa Mannion.