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Playing politics with adopted children's rights

Irish Independent Letters 23rd April 2011

DAVID QUINN's concern for the welfare of adopted children and those conceived via sperm and egg donation is touching (Irish Independent, April 8, 2011).

However, we must strenuously object to the issue of adopted people's rights being hijacked for the purpose of illustrating Mr Quinn's argument against gay marriage. Children who are in need of homes are not concerned with labels like marriage or civil partnership; rather, these children are looking for security and that security must not come at the price of losing your identity or access to family, culture and heritage.

In cases where children genuinely need to be separated from their natural families, a truly child-centred system would assess each child's needs on an individual basis so that the best possible home would be found for that child, regardless of whether the home was provided by a single person, a gay couple or a straight couple.

We must never forget that adoption is about finding homes for children, not children for homes that want them. We are concerned that Ireland has lost sight of the intended purpose of adoption, with the rights of adults taking precedence over those of children.

It is disingenuous of Mr Quinn to use children's rights to address his objections to gay marriage. If he is concerned about the rights of adopted and donor-conceived children, we suggest that he confine his arguments to those issues that genuinely affect the children concerned.




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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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