Written Answers. - Control of Adoption Agencies.

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

68 Mr. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the criteria laid down by his Department for registered adoption agencies to obtain public funding; the element of control which is exercised over the day-to-day operations of the agencies; and the appeals or redress procedures, if any, for decision or treatment by the adoption agencies towards those citizens who need to use them. [3973/97]

Under the Child Care Act, 1991, it is a function of each health board to provide or ensure the provision in its area of a service for the adoption of children. For these purposes, a health board may enter into arrangements with any registered adoption society. In these circumstances, the health board will provide funding to that society.

The registration of adoption societies is a function of the adoption board under Part IV of the Adoption Act 1952 and the board shall not register any body of persons unless it is satisfied that the body is competent to discharge the statutory obligations imposed on registered adoption societies. The board may refuse or cancel a registration if it appears to the board that any person who takes part in the management or control of the body or is engaged on its behalf in connection with the making of arrangements for adoption is not a fit and proper person to act.

It is open to a person not satisfied with his or her treatment by a registered adoption society to request that the case be referred to the adoption board for determination. Of course, as the obligations imposed on adoption societies are primarily statutory in nature, the ultimate means of appeal is through the courts.