Alliance Welcomes Publication of Adoption Bill 2009

Published date: 
23 Jan 2009

Friday 23 January 2009


Jillian van Turnhout, Chief Executive



“The Children’s Rights Alliance warmly welcomes today’s publication of the Adoption Bill, 2009 by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Barry Andrews TD.  The long awaited Bill, which consolidates seven different Adoption Acts, is a critical step in the journey to bring our adoption legislation into line with international best practice and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Adoption Bill, 2009 incorporates into our domestic law the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption.  The Hague Convention is the international standard setter in the area of adoption.  Bringing this international instrument into our domestic law is a significant step that will make a real difference to children’s lives.  It will address the current weakness of our adoption laws whereby intercountry adoptions – of which there are over 400 per year – operate under standards that are lower than those for domestic adoptions, of which there are approximately 50 per year.  All children adopted by families in Ireland must benefit from the same set of rigorous standards.

Over the coming days and months, the Alliance will examine the details of the Bill and engage in the debate as the Bill proceeds through the Houses of the Oireachtas.  The Alliance will be watching to ensure that four critical issues are respected:

  • Adoption is framed as a right of the child – the right of a child to a second chance of family life.  Adults do not have an automatic entitlement to adopt a child.   
  • All decisions in relation to adoption proceedings must hold the best interests of the child as paramount.
  • The voice of the child must be heard in adoption proceedings.
  • Adequate services, pre- and post-adoption must be available to support the adopted child.


Jillian van Turnhout, Chief Executive

Note to Editor:
Article 21 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Ireland ratified in 1992, establishes the paramountcy of children’s best interests in all adoption arrangements and details minimum requirements for adoption procedures.

Children's Rights Alliance