Submission to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs on Open Adoption

Barnardos. (2019). Submission to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs on Open Adoption.
Barnardos welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs consultation on Open Adoption. Barnardos mission is to help transform children’s lives through our services, support parents, and challenge society where it fails our children. In 2018, we worked with almost 18,000 children, young people and their families. Barnardos provides practical and emotional supports to children and parents in its 41 centres, in families’ own homes, through the school environment, and within their communities. Barnardos have developed a holistic understanding of adoption from the perspective of both children and adults (birth and adoptive parents and adopted adults) primarily through our Post Adoption Service and to a lesser extent our Guardian ad Litem (GAL) work1 . Barnardos analysis and insight on Open Adoption is informed by this experience with children and families. Barnardos Post Adoption Service has been in existence since 1977 and began as an independent helpline, set up to respond to queries or concerns about adoption. In 1990 the service expanded with the establishment of support groups for birth mothers and to date we have worked with over 400 women. In 1994 a support service was initiated for adopted adults with a similar number having been supported. Since 2007, Barnardos has pioneered a model of therapeutic work with adopted children, young people and their parents in Ireland. In 2019 the expansion of our children’s service means that we can offer a therapeutic service to all adopted children – both internationally and domestic, including those adopted from the foster care system.