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denies adoption limbo
Business Post, 19 December 2010 By Susan Mitchell
Minister for Children Barry Andrews has
dismissed opposition claims that prospective adopters had been left in
limbo due to a flaw in new legislation.
Alan Shatter, Fine Gael justice spokesperson, said the failure to
license existing bodies providing adoption services meant people who
were already being assessed for adoption could be forced back to have a
new assessment, started by a different agency and have the process
Andrews denied this was the case saying the new accredited bodies to vet
people and facilitate adoptions would be registered by early next month.
He added that in cases where existing organisations ceased to operate
the same service the Health Service Executive (HSE) was ‘‘willing
and able to provide that service’’.
Under the Adoption Act 2010, provision is made for ‘accredited
bodies’ to be registered with and licensed by the new Adoption
Authority. It is these bodies, together with the HSE, that are
authorised to provide adoption services including the assessment of
peoples suitability to adopt.
Shatter said some of his constituents who were being assessed for
adoption for around a year had been told by the Adoption Society that
their assessment could no longer be processed.
Shatter said they were also told they would have to start all over again
with a new body once it was accredited by the Adoption Authority.
Shatter claimed the minister for children had ‘‘failed to make
provision in the new legislation to ensure adequate protection for those
in the middle of the adoption assessment process following the Adoption
Act 2010 coming into force’’.
In a statement, the minister’s of f ice said the Adoption Authority
advertised in November seeking expressions of interests. The date for
receipt of applications was December 13 and the Authority was now
reviewing the applications, the department said.
It said the Authority expect to be issuing approvals in January, and
accredited bodies would then be in a position to provide services.
Shatter said there was ‘‘huge confusion’’.
‘‘That message is simply not being communicated to prospective
adopters," he said.
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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
Alex Haley, Author of Roots