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    Privacy Statement


    The Adoption Authority of Ireland understands that your privacy is important to you and that you care about how your personal data is used. We respect and value the privacy of all of our service users and will only collect and use personal data in ways that are described here, and in a way that is consistent with our obligations and your rights under the GDPR.

    1. What Does This Notice Cover?

    This Privacy Information explains how we use your personal data: how it is collected, how it is held, and how it is processed. It also explains your rights under the law relating to your personal data.

    2. What is Personal Data?

    Personal data is defined by the General Data Protection Regulation (EU Regulation 2016/679) (the “GDPR”) as ‘any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier’.

    Personal data is, in simpler terms, any information about you that enables you to be identified. Personal data covers obvious information such as your name and contact details, but it also covers less obvious information such as identification numbers, electronic location data, and other online identifiers.

    3. What Are My Rights

    Under the GDPR, you have the following rights, which we will always work to uphold:
    • The right to be informed about our collection and use of your personal data. This Privacy Notice should tell you everything you need to know, but you can always contact us to find our more or to ask any questions.
    • The right to access the personal data we hold about you.
    • he right to have your personal data rectified if any of your personal data held by us is inaccurate or incomplete. The right to be forgotten, i.e. the right to ask us to delete or otherwise dispose of any of your personal data that we have.
    • The right to restrict (i.e. prevent) the processing of your personal data.
    • The right to object to us using your personal data for a particular purpose or purposes.
    • The right to data portability. This means that, if you have provided personal data to us directly, we are using it with your consent or for the performance of a contract, and that data is processed using automated means, you can ask us for a copy of that personal data to re-use with another service or business in many cases.
    • Rights relating to automated decision making and profiling. We do not use your personal data in this way. 
    For more information about our use of your personal data or exercising your rights as outlined above, please contact us using the details provided. 

    If you have any cause for complaint about our use of your personal data, you have the right to lodge a compaint with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

    4. What Personal Data Do You Collect?

    To allow us to fulfil our obligations as a service user, we collect and process various categories of personal information.

    We may collect some or all of the following personal data (this may vary according to your relationship with us) and special category data:

    • Personal contact details about you, such as date of birth, address, next of kin, contact details, mobile phone number etc
    • Birth Certificate and birth details
    • Adoption Status and records
    • Court reports and documents
    • CCTV footage images
    • Child Social Care records
    • Financial Information
    • Medical information
    • Garda vetting results
    • Employment History
    • Education details (yours and your child’s)
    • Race/ ethnic origin
    • Religion and philosophical beliefs
    • Sex Life/sexual orientation
    • Criminal offences

    5. How Do You Use My Personal Data?

    Under the GDPR, we must always have a lawful basis for using personal data. This may be because, because you have consented to our use of your personal data, or processing is necessary for tasks carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of an official authority vested in the Adoption Authority in this instance the Adoption Act 2010 and Children’s and Family Relationships Act 2015.

     We collect your personal data to allow us to process adoptions through to final adoption order, to add you to the National Adoption Contact Preference register and to review and monitor Social Work practice at all stages of the adoption processes.

     We only process special categories of personal data where it is necessary;

    • for the purposes of preventative or occupational medicine,
    • for the provision of healthcare, treatment or social care,
    • for the management of health or social care systems and services, or
    • pursuant to a contract with a health professional.

     If the purpose of the processing is for a reason other than the reasons above, we will seek explicit consent to process your sensitive personal data (referred to as ‘special categories’ of data under the GDPR).

     Your personal data may be used for one of the following purposes:

    • Investigate complaints, legal claims or adverse incidents
    • Protect wider public health interests
    • Provide training and development

    6. What are the purposes for which we intend to use this information (with reference to the relevant lawful basis under Articles 6 and 9 of the General Data Protection Regulation)?

    • Service delivery and service improvement (task carried out in the public interest (Article 6 (e))
    • Provision of social care (Article 9 (h))
    • Compliance with the law relating to adoption (for compliance with a legal obligation (Article 6 (c)) and, where appropriate, in the substantial public interest (Article 9(g))
    • Prevention/Detection of Crime/Fraud (for reasons of substantial public interest (Article 9 (g)))
    • Research (for research purposes or statistical purposes (Article 9(j))

    7. How do you keep my data secure and confidential?

    We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure with us and with the third parties who act on our behalf. We have a number of security precautions in place to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your information. All staff working for the Adoption Authority have a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and all staff are trained in information security and confidentiality. The Adoption Authority has strict information security policies and procedures in place to ensure that information about you is safe, whether it is held in paper or electronic format

     We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and the Data Protection Commissioner’s Office of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.

    8. How Long Will You Keep My Personal Data?

    We will not keep your personal data for any longer than is necessary in light of the reason(s) for which it was first collected. In cases where an Adoption Order is made, children’s Adoption case records will be retained in perpetuity or for a minimum of 100 years after the Adoption Order is made

    9. How and Where Do You Store My Personal Data?

    Personal data is not routinely transferred overseas. We will only transfer your personal data outside of the EEA when it is necessary as part of a foreign adoption process and we will ask for your specific consent.

    10. Do You Share My Personal Data?

    We may sometimes contract with the following third parties below to supply services to you on our behalf. In some cases, those third parties may require access to some or all of your personal data that we hold.

    We may also be receiving services from providers outside of the authority, for example, Adoption, Legal and Medical Advisors and Local Authorities. In order to assist in this process, we may need to share your personal information with those providers. We are careful only to share the information that is necessary for this purpose. Anyone who receives this information is also bound by confidentiality and the data protection laws. In certain situations, we may have to disclose your personal information to other agencies, in accordance with legal requirements, i.e. Dept. of Social welfare, Department of Health, the Courts etc., or in an emergency situation to prevent injury to self or other persons.

    If any of your personal data is required by a third party, as described above, we will take steps to ensure that your personal data is handled safely, securely, and in accordance with your rights, obligations, and the third party’s obligations under the law.

    In some limited circumstances, we may be legally required to share certain personal data, which might include yours, if we are involved in legal proceedings or complying with legal obligations, a court order, or the instructions of a government authority.

    12. How Can I Access My Personal Data?

    If you want to know what personal data we have about you, you can ask us for details of that personal data and for a copy of it (where any such personal data is held). This is known as a “subject access request”.

    All subject access requests should be made in writing and sent to the email or postal addresses shown in the Contact US section. To make this as easy as possible for you, a Subject Access Request Form is available for you to use. You do not have to use this form, but it is the easiest way to tell us everything we need to know to respond to your request as quickly as possible.

    13. How Do I Contact You?

    To contact us about anything to do with your personal data and data protection, including to make a subject access request, please use the following details:

    Heather Connolly Data Protection Officer

    Email address: DPO@aai.gov.ie  

    Telephone number: 012309348/085 8797069

    Postal Address: 4th Floor, Shelbourne House, Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, D04 H6F6

    14. Changes to this Privacy Notice

    We may change this Privacy Notice from time to time. This may be necessary, for example, if the law changes, or if we change our practices in a way that affects personal data protection.

    Any changes will be made available on our website https://www.aai.gov.ie/en/what-we-do/data-protection.html


    15. Cookies

    ‘Cookies’ are small pieces of information placed on your computer by a website and which, typically, can be read by the website on your subsequent visits.  The information stored in a cookie may relate to your browsing habits on the web page, or contain a unique identification number so that the site can ‘remember’ you on your return visit.  Our website does not use cookies.  Visitors can use our site with no loss of functionality if cookies are disabled from the web browser.

    16. Google Analytics

    The Adoption Authority respects the rights of its users and does not, as a general rule, collect personal information of any kind. Where a user voluntarily provides personal information in response to a questionnaire or survey, the data will be used for research or analysis purposes only. We use Google Analytics (GA) to track site user interaction on our websites. We have a GA code installed on our sites which creates one or more text files on your computer (called a “cookie”). The cookies contain an ID number, which is used to uniquely identify your browser and track each site you visit that has GA enabled.

    We use this data to find out the number of people using our sites and to better understand how they find and use our web pages. With this information, we can continually improve the information that we provide on our sites and the processes for actions such as contacting us. We can also use it to increase the number of new people finding our sites. For more information on Google Analytics, please visit Google's website.

    Google analytics stores the following data:

    • Time of visit, pages visited, and time spent on each page of the webpages
    • Interactions with site-specific widgets
    • Referring site details (such as the URL a user came through to arrive at our sites)
    • Type of web browser
    • Type of operating system (OS)
    • Flash version, JavaScript support, screen resolution, and screen colour processing ability
    • Network location and IP address
    • Document downloads
    • Clicks on links leading to external websites
    • Errors when users fill out forms
    • Clicks on videos
    • Scroll depth

     Google also collects information about you from its Doubleclick tracking and profiling service, from ad-supported apps on your Android or iOS device, from your YouTube and Gmail activity and from your Google account. This data is put together and used to make inferences about your age, gender, interests, hobbies, shopping habits and living circumstances. Google Analytics uses cookies to define user sessions, as well as to provide a number of key features in the Google Analytics reports. This means that the cookies are linked to our website domain(s), and we will only use that cookie data for statistical analysis related to your browsing behaviour on our websites.

    Your rights
    If you already have GA cookies, they will be updated with the latest information about your visit to our sites.

    As we cannot access any personal data about you ourselves, we are not the Data Controller for your Google Analytics or Doubleclick profile data. You would need to contact Google directly for this information.

    You have the right to object to this tracking and to stop it happening. If you would like more information about the methods used by us, please contact us at corporate@aai.gov.ie 

    How do I prevent being tracked by Google Analytics?

    If you are uncomfortable with this tracking, you can take the following actions:

    – Use a tracking-blocker

    – Clear cookies after every browsing session

    – Install the Google Analytics opt-out extension

    Updated: January 24 2021

    Mission Statement

    " To ensure the provision of the highest possible standards of adoption related services, throughout the lifelong adoption process, with the best interests of children as the first and paramount objective."

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