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Report of the Adoption Board 1996
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|Title: ||Report of the Adoption Board 1996|
|Publisher: ||Stationery Office|
|Issue Date: ||Jul-1997 |
|Description: ||The Board received 407 applications for adoption orders in 1996, the lowest ever figure
since adoption was introduced in 1953. Applications for the adoption of children placed
by registered adoption societies and the health boards continued to decline. These
amounted to a total of 127 applications. The corresponding figure for 1995 was 143
applications. Applications for children being adopted within their natural family decreased
from 274 in 1995 to 241 in 1996.
The Board made 405 adoption orders in 1996 compared with 490 in 1995. Family
adoptions accounted for 243 orders, of which 230 were made in favour of the child's birth
mother and her husband. There were 141 orders made in respect of health board and
registered adoption society placements.
The Board made seven adoption orders under the Adoption Act, 1988. Further information
on applications under this Act is given on page 9 of this report.
In 1996 the Board made two adoption orders for Irish children with special needs.
Whereas there is a large decrease in the number of children being adopted in Ireland the
interest in overseas adoption continues to grow. During 1996 the Board recognised 117
foreign adoptions under the terms of the Adoption Act, 1991. To date the Board has
recognised 696 foreign adoptions. In 1996, the Board made 117 declarations of suitability
and eligibility under Section 5 of the Act. It also extended the declarations of suitability
and eligibility of 32 couples who had not effected the adoption of a foreign child during
the existence of their original declaration.
In 1996 the Board considered over 700 enquiries from adoptees, birth mothers and siblings
seeking access to their birth records or contact. The Board noted an increase in the number
of adoptees requesting a copy of their original birth certificate. Some want access to their
birth certificate to assist them in tracing their birth parents while others merely wish to
have a copy of their original birth certificate. The Board is aware that some people are
making their own enquiries in the absence of appropriate professional counselling and that
in some instances the wrong people have been contacted. This has obviously caused
unnecessary stress to those tracing and to those who were contacted. The Board notes that
in most jurisdictions there is automatic access to birth records for adoptees over eighteen
years of age and requests that consideration be given to bringing in the necessary
legislation to govern this issue. It considers that there should be a right of access to these
records but that some form of mandatory counselling should be availed of before the
release of any birth certificate. The Board has submitted proposals to the Department of
Health on the matter.
During 1996 the Board continued to receive an increasing number of enquiries from
people wishing to trace their birth mothers and from birth mothers wishing to contact their
children. Agencies and adoption societies reported an increased demand for a
comprehensive tracing service during the year. The Board has been calling for the
establishment of a National Contact Register for the last numbers of years. It has had
detailed discussions with the statutory and the non-statutory agencies involved in adoption
work concerning the establishment of a Register. The Board has also had discussions with
Mr Austin Currie T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and with
representatives of the Department of Health and has made detailed proposals in this regard.
The Board again calls for the establishment of a National Contact Register to assist all
those who seek to make contact.
The media coverage surrounding the controversy in relation to children sent outside the|
|Series/Report no.: ||P50659|
|Appears in Collections: ||AAI|
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