Two resign from adoption
JAMIE SMYTH, Social Affairs
Irish Times, Fri, Dec 31,
THE ADOPTION Authority has
suffered a setback with the resignation of two board members just two months
after it was established by the Government to overhaul the entire adoption
Two of the authority’s
seven board members – psychologist Dr Helen Greally and medical
practitioner Dr Cyril McNulty – have stood down in recent weeks.
The authority has also not
yet announced the appointment of a chief executive, although this is
expected to be done very shortly.
The chairman of the
authority, solicitor Geoffrey Shannon, said yesterday both board members had
resigned for personal reasons and there were no differences of opinion about
the board’s work.
“The authority is working
well and is building a world-class adoption authority,” he said.
Concerns have been
expressed in recent weeks by voluntary adoption agencies, which operated
under the old legislative regime, and the Council of Irish Adoption
Agencies, about delays in getting the new system in place.
“The fact there has been
no transitional arrangement creates hardship for those parties already in
the process and engaged with voluntary agencies,” Sheila Gallagher,
secretary of the Council of Irish Adoption Agencies, said last month.
Shane Downer of the Arc
Adoption agency, which is hoping to become accredited in the new year, said
yesterday he was concerned the resignation of board members may delay the
accreditation of new adoption agencies.
“We would hope the board
will resume full complement as soon as possible because there is a serious
amount of work to be done,” he said.
The authority is working to
introduce a new framework for domestic and inter-country adoptions following
the entry into force of the Adoption Act 2010 on November 1st. It has the
task of accrediting mediation agencies, which will work with countries from
which children are adopted and prospective adoptive parents. The authority
also needs to accredit agencies that will assess people for their
suitability to become adoptive parents.
But so far no agencies have
been accredited and there are fears a lengthy delay may leave people hoping
to adopt in limbo.
One of the key reasons for
the change in adoption regime was to give force of law to the Hague
Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of
When the new authority was
announced, Mr Shannon said it would end the practice whereby prospective
adoptive parents made a financial contribution to the child’s country in
It is estimated more than
42,000 adoptions of Irish children have taken place, and a further 5,000
children have been adopted into Ireland.
© 2010 The Irish Times
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