asked the Minister for Justice the proposals he has for the amendment of this country's adoption laws; and when he intends to introduce them.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Adoption Laws.
I would refer the Deputy to a reply which the Taoiseach gave on 12th October, 1977 Official Report, Volume 300, columns 131-133, in which he stated that the possibility of an amendment to the Constitution to deal with certain aspects of the law on adoption was under consideration. I have no further statement to make at present.
Is the Minister aware that fears have been expressed in relation to fundamental constitutional problems in this area? Since it is such a sensitive and important area, would the Minister accept that it merits a high degree of urgency in clearing up any doubts and fears that exist?
I fully accept what the Deputy says. It is an extremely important area and it is under active consideration by me. The matter will be gone into in full detail and I would hope that it will be dealt with by the Government as quickly as possible.
Would the Minister give an undertaking to the House that any necessary referendum will not be unduly delayed, merely for the sake of convenience, and coupled with the much delayed European election?
There are many factors to be considered in connection with the holding of a referendum. These will have to be given consideration in whatever decisions have to be made.
Since this matter is of such importance to so many people, I would ask the Minister not to allow the cost factor to be an undue consideration in clearing up the problem.
We are stretching this more than a little.