An Adoption Bill published yesterday ensures that civil partners may apply to adopt, that children in long-term foster care may be adopted, and that step parents may apply to adopt their spouses’ child.
Published by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, James O’Reilly, the Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016 gives effect to the Children’s Referendum, and also updates adoption law for all families and ensures that civil partners may apply to adopt.
“The publication of this Bill by Minister O’Reilly is very welcome, says GLEN Co-Chair, Kieran Rose. “The Bill provides for the remaining legal changes to ensure that children growing up in lesbian and gay headed families can have the same access to legal certainty and security as children in other family types”
“Many lesbian and gay couples are long term foster-parents; many civil partnered couples are de-facto joint parents; and many people who are married or in a civil partnership are step parents to their partner’s children. The Bill, when passed, will provide legal routes to adoption for these families, ensuring that their children are protected and have legal certainty around their families.”
The Bill implements the Children’s Referendum provision of ensuring that the best interests of the child are to be the paramount consideration, and restates and updates provisions of the Child and Family Relationships Act 2015, which provided for adoption by civil partners and cohabiting couples, amongst other provisions, which had not yet been commenced.
Further provisions in that Act, when commenced, will provide for joint parenting for lesbian and gay couples.
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