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Adoption Issues

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Deputy Shane Ross

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Snippet Contents:

I address this issue in the context of many people who have approached me on it and which is obviously an increasingly difficult problem for a large number of people. It is the issue of stepfathers or stepmothers voluntarily adopting children but the real issue is where their partner, and in most cases it is the natural mother of the child, is forced to adopt the child also. I will give a simple example, with which the Minister of State will be familiar, of where a mother has a child, she parts with the natural father, she takes on another partner and the other partner volunteers to adopt that child. The child's natural father disappears off the scene but the mother, by law, also has to adopt the child.
The reason I believe that is wrong and should be remedied is because many mothers find this particularly offensive. It causes them an enormous amount of stress because they believe something has been taken away from them. It is difficult to explain often in strictly logical and legal terms and they have to come back and ask the State if they can now adopt their child when all that really is happening is that their new partner is volunteering and wanting to adopt the child. That is not just an emotional intrusion. The process whereby this is done is also an intrusion upon their lives.