The minister for Children and Family Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone is to speak at a seminar this morning at the Adoption Authority of Ireland revealing a new proposed Bill in respect of adoptions for children in long term foster care.
The new Bill proposes empowering the High Court with new criteria to make adoption orders for children who have been in long term foster care and it represents an exciting development for young children and their respective foster parents throughout the country of which there are thousands.
Ministers Zappone’s Bill suggests that the High Court would have the power to grant an adoption order without the parents consent where there are certain criteria involved. Obviously however each case would be considered on its merits prior to High Court approval.
The suggested criteria required to grant an order for adoption in such a cases are so far that the foster child must be in long term foster care and living with their foster parents, the proposed adopters, for a period of at least 18 months.
There must have been a complete failing in the parents duty to the child for a period of at least three years and there must be no reasonable prospect of the parents caring for the child.
The proposed legislation dispenses with the requirement for the proposed adopters to be married should the matter be on consent and the avenue of the High Court is open where there is no consent. It will also allow for a non birth step parent adopt without the current requirement for a birth parent to adopt. If passed the Bill proposes allow civil partners and cohabiting couples to apply for joint adoptions
The legislation has cleared report stage in Leinster House.
Coonan Morgan solicitors have extensive experience in acting on behalf of parents in adoption matters both foreign and internally.