Amendment to allow foster carers to adopt after 18 months
The Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016 has been passed in Dáil Éireann.
The bill will allow foster carers greater access and ability to adopt a child within their care where they have been with them for over 18 months.
The bill which makes legislative changes to the 2012 children’s rights referendum, also allows the High Court to call on the Adoption Authority to make an adoption order for a child, without the consent of his or her parents.
This would be in cases where parents are seen to have failed in their duty to care for their child for 36 months.
There is however also support for birth parents whose children have not been adopted by carers. These parents will now have the much-needed help and support offered to them after having their children taken into foster care.
This obligation will be left in the hands of the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, whose aim it will be to hopefully unite parent and child with an all-round positive outcome.
According to the Journal, Senator Lynn Ruane said, “They [parents] often never get the chance to address those challenges because the supports they need are never offered. As a result of my amendment, this will no longer be the case.”
The bill will also allow for child adoption by civil partners and cohabiting couples, while married couples will be allowed place their child up for adoption where both parents have agreed to give consent to do so.