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Child and Family Agency

Dáil Éireann Debate, Friday - 3 December 2021

Friday, 3 December 2021

Questions (71)

Cathal Crowe

Question:

71. Deputy Cathal Crowe asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if he will report on actions he plans to take to tackle waiting times associated with applications for children in foster care to be adopted by their foster parents. [59197/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The adoption process for children in care is a legal process which is commenced by Tusla Foster Care Services. The adoption process involves a series of assessments by social workers to ensure that prospective adoptive parents meet the suitability and eligibility criteria laid out by the Adoption Act. The process also requires consultation with, and consent of, the child's birth parents. In certain circumstances, the High Court may make an Order to dispense with a birth parent's consent.

An adoption is a significant event in the life of a child, and as such it is necessary to provide appropriate safeguards in order to protect the best interests of the child and the rights of the birth parents.

The Department is mindful of the length and complexity of the process, and is engaging on an ongoing basis with the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) and with Tusla to ensure that cases are progressed in as timely a manner as possible while still protecting the best interests of the child and the rights of the birth parents. The AAI and Tusla are now holding monthly meetings to case manage these cases, with the aim of avoiding delays and progessing the applications in most timely manner possible.

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