17th October 2017
Dr Katherine Zappone TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs today signed the Commencement Order to give effect to the provisions in the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017.
Minister Zappone said “I am very pleased to have signed the Commencement Order for the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017. Adoption is a hugely significant event in the life of a child. As Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, I am conscious of the importance of providing for an adoption process that is fully inclusive of everyone involved and where children’s best interests are always at the heart of decisions involving them.”
The primary purpose of the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017 is to give effect to Article 42A (Children) of the Constitution, in so far as it relates to adoption. In particular, the Act provides for –
· The adoption of any child, regardless of the marital status of his/her parents.
· The Adoption Authority of Ireland or the Court, to regard the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration.
· The Authority or the Court to ascertain the child’s views and such views to be given due weight having regard to the age and maturity of the child.
· The introduction of revised criteria for dispensing with consent, in the case of the adoption of children whose parents fail in their duty towards them.
· The adoption of a child by his or her step parent without the requirement for the child’s other parent to adopt his or her own child.
· The provision for the joint adoption of a child by civil partners and cohabiting couples.
· The further adoption of a child who was previously adopted.
These provisions will be commenced on the 19th of October 2017.
Section 24(1)(a) provides that before making an application for a child to be adopted because of parental failure, Tusla – the Child and Family Agency must be satisfied that every reasonable effort has been made to support the parents of the child in question. This section will be commenced on the 1st of February 2018.
Concluding, the Minister said “I welcome all of these positive changes to the adoption regime; as a diverse society we now have many different types of families, and our legislation must reflect the complex realities of modern family life.”