Launch of Truth Recovery Design Panel

Mother and Baby and Magdalene Laundry Institutions – Truth Recovery Design Panel

An independent investigation into Mother and Baby and Magdalene Laundry Institutions will be designed and developed along with the full participation of victims and survivors.
The Truth Recovery Design Panel will work with victims and survivors to recommend the most appropriate form of investigation and the findings of the Panel will be made public.
There are four possible forms the investigation could take but others might also be considered. The four options include:
– statutory inquiry
– non-statutory inquiry
– independent panel
– independent review


The decision to carry out an independent investigation into the Mother and Baby and Magdalene Laundry institutions was made by the Northern Ireland Executive in January 2021, after publication of a Research Report (external link opens in a new window / tab)  which gathered significant information and looked at how the institutions worked between 1922 and 1990.

Independent investigation

Victims and survivors of the institutions will be central to the process of designing the method of investigation. This will involve a series of consultations and meetings over a six month period from March 2021.  

Through the process, the Panel will address a number of questions about (but not limited to)

  • the questions the investigation should ask and answer
  • how the investigation should run
  • how long the investigation should take
  • who should take part in the investigation
  • if legislation needs to be in place to support the investigation

Truth Recovery Design Panel

The members of the design panel are:

  • Deirdre Mahon, Director of Women and Children’s Services, Western Health and Social Care Trust
  • Professor Emeritus Phil Scraton, Queen’s University School of Law
  • Dr Maeve O’Rourke, Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland Galway.

Get Involved

If you have been affected by any of the issues identified in the research and you want to participate in the process to help develop and design the investigation, you can do this by:

  • Visit our contact page
  • emailing [email protected] 
  • phoning on 0300 0200 789 to find out more information

Adoption Tracing and Access to Birth Records

For anyone connected with a mother and baby institution, who has a query about adoption, including how to trace their birth mother or birth relatives or an adopted person, contact your local Health and Social Care Trust. They will help you with your enquiries.
A social worker in your local Health and Social Care Trust can provide advice on how to apply for your original birth certificate, how to enter your details on the Adoption Contact Register and help you get the name of the adoption agency who arranged your adoption.

Adoption teams contacts

  • Belfast Trust – 028 9504 0350
  • Northern Trust –  028 9331 5111 / 028 2563 5110
  • South Eastern Trust – 028 9127 0672
  • Southern Trust – 028 3756 6125
  • Western Trust –028 7131 4235 / 028 8283 5114
  • Northern Ireland Adoption & Foster Care – 0800 0720 137.

Registered Adoption Agencies

  • Family Care Adoption Services – 028 9069 1133
  • Adoption Routes – 028 9073 6080

Help and Support