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Minister Zappone launches Open Policy Debate on the Potential Introduction of Open or Semi-Open Adoption in Ireland  

Monday 13th May 2019

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs this morning launched an Open Policy Debate on the potential introduction of open or semi-open adoption in Ireland.

The focus of today’s debate is on the potential introduction of open and semi-open adoption in Ireland.  The Department is undertaking a review and consultation in relation to this issue under an amendment to the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017.

The debate is being attended by representatives from Government Departments, Tusla - the Child and Family Agency, The Adoption Authority of Ireland, the community and voluntary sector, representative groups including organisations representing children’s rights and perspectives, and academia. The keynote speaker is Professor Elsbeth Neil from the University of East Anglia, who oversaw a major longitudinal study into post adoption contact, which followed a group of adoptive and birth families over 18 years.

This is part of a range of measures to engage with stakeholders on this issue. As well as the Open Policy Debate, a public consultation questionnaire is available online.

The Minister stated: “I think everyone would agree that any consideration of open or semi-open adoption must have a child-centred approach. Adoption is a momentous event in the life of a child. It is important that any decisions being made are made in the best interests of the individual child.  As we are in the very early stages of having this discussion in Ireland, it is vital that we gain the views of key stakeholders in order to find out what works best for children and families.”

A report on the potential introduction of open or semi-open adoption in Ireland will be completed and laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas in November 2019.