Adoption Bill 2009 Barnardos Submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Health and Children

Barnardos. (2009). Adoption Bill 2009 Barnardos Submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Health and Children.
Barnardos welcomes the introduction of the Adoption Bill 2009, published in January 2009 by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. The Bill represents the consolidation of legislation on adoption and the placing of standards in adoption on a statutory footing. Barnardos firmly believes that this Bill creates an opportunity for promoting the rights, welfare and protection of children in adoption processes and must provide the strongest possible wording on all measures to ensure the implementation of such standards. Barnardos also welcomes Ireland’s ratification of the 1993 Hague Convention1 and the incorporation of this important instrument into Irish Law. Ireland has seen a big increase in the number of children being adopted from overseas and it is vital that high standards of protection and care are applied to these children both before and after their adoption by an Irish family. While welcoming the Adoption Bill, Barnardos continues to have concerns in relation to a number of provisions. We are particularly concerned by gaps in post-adoption service provision for adopted children and the failure of the current draft of the Bill to address this. While acknowledging the identification of the Child Care Act 1991 by the Department of Health and Children as addressing service provision for these The Hague Convention of 29 May 1992 on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption children, Barnardos believes that dedicated post-adoption services are required to adequately support children who have been adopted, particularly those who have been adopted from abroad. Barnardos believes that there is considerable opportunity to strengthen the current Adoption Bill before it is signed into law, providing the best possible statutory protection and support for adopted children in Ireland. It is essential that Ireland guarantees the integrity of the processes which establish the adoptability of a child adopted in Ireland. As a country that placed children into intercountry adoption in previous generations we must pay particular attention to this requirement.