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Adoption Bill includes Hague protections


Irish Times, Thu, Nov 19, 2009

FEW IRISH children were now placed for adoption, Minister of State for Children Barry Andrews told the Dáil. The vast majority of domestic adoptions were “family or step-parent adoptions”, he said.

“Many Irish people have, therefore, looked to overseas to adopt a child into their families,” he said.

Adoptions was first introduced into Ireland through the enactment of the Adoption Act 1952. Before that, there were many informal adoptions in the State and many Irish children were sent abroad for adoption by Irish-American families in the United States.

Introducing the Adoption Bill 2009, Mr Andrews said it brought the Hague Convention on the protection of children and co-operation in respect of inter-country adoption into statue law.

It also provided for the establishment of the Adoption Authority of Ireland and the repeal of the 1952 and 1998 Acts, as well as their restating or updating as appropriate.

“A fundamental principle of the Hague Convention is that inter-country adoption should be child-centred,” said Mr Andrews. “That is, in all stages of the process, the child’s interests must be paramount.” The provisions of the Bill would ensure that all inter-country adoptions recognised here met the standards of the convention.

It also provided for the State to enter into discussions with states which were not party to the Hague Convention for the purposes of making bilateral agreements on inter-country adoptions.

Fine Gael’s Alan Shatter welcomed the Bill.

© 2009 The Irish Times

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“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning . . . and the most disquieting loneliness." 

Alex Haley, Author of Roots 





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