The department committed under the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017 to undertaking a review and consultation in respect of the potential introduction of open or semi-open adoption in Ireland. This work was initiated on 18th May 2018 and will consider a range of policy and legal issues as well as stakeholder views.
On Monday May 13th 2019. the department hosted an Open Policy Debate on the potential introduction of open or semi-open adoption in Ireland in respect of adopted children under 18. Key stakeholders were invited, including social work practitioners, 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 purpose of the day was to identify significant themes and perspectives in relation to this issue. The event was chaired by Dr. Valerie O'Brien, from UCD's School of Social Work, Social Policy and Social Justice and the keynote speaker was Professor Elsbeth Neil, Professor of Social Work at the University of East Anglia, a leading expert in post-adoption contact and director of the major longitudinal Contact After Adoption study. Professor Neil's presentation is available here.
An overview of the themes and perspectives emerging from the Open Policy Debate is available here.
The department has launched a public consultation in connection with this review. Until Friday, June 14 2019, interested parties and members of the public will be able to fill out this questionnaire. As well as seeking information and opinions in relation to a number of specific areas, the questionnaire provides space for individuals and organisations to submit their general views on open and semi-open adoption.