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Ireland’s New Adoption Bill Says Adoption Only to Married Heterosexual Couples

Thaddeus M. Baklinski,

DUBLIN, February 11, 2009 ( – Newly published adoption legislation introduced by Ireland’s Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Barry Andrews, unequivocally states that all aspects of a child’s adoption must "take place in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights as recognized under international law."

In light of this the bill has no provisions for permitting adoption by same-sex couples or other cohabiting individuals, a fact that has homosexual activists up in arms, who are calling on Ireland to follow the example of Britain and Scotland in allowing homosexual adoption.

"The Government’s aim in bringing forward this piece of legislation is to support and protect prospective parents and, even more importantly, the children for whom adoption services are devised and provided," minister Andrews stated about the bill.

The Adoption Bill 2009 incorporates into Irish law the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and brings Irish adoption legislation into line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which holds that every child has a right to a mother and a father and that in any adoption situation the best interests of the child take precedence over any other rights.

The chair of the country’s National Lesbian and Gay Federation, Ailbhe Smyth, responded to the bill, saying, "It is extraordinarily disappointing that a government which professes to support full equality for all citizens would seek to yet again reinforce the inequalities within our society," according to the homosexual news service Pink News.

"We call on the government to ensure that this bill, in line with other European jurisdictions, is expanded to provide for equality of adoption rights between all couples, be they married or unmarried, same-sex or opposite-sex."

Under the Bill, adopting parents must be married and living together, will have to show they are of good moral character, are healthy and have adequate financial means to support the child, before their adoption is approved. The couple must also show that they understand and support the child’s needs in relation to ethnic, religious and cultural background.

Next to the fight for same-sex "marriage," the right to adopt has become one of the primary fronts of the homosexualist movement’s efforts. Ireland, however, appears intent on refraining from following the U.K. and other liberal European countries in opening adoption to homosexuals and other unmarried couples, probably due at least in part to the country’s still strong Catholic identity.

The Catholic Church has been one of the strongest defenders of the principle, put forward in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, that children have the right to a mother and a father, and that other arrangements are harmful to the child.

In a 2005 interview with Fides (Agenzia Fides, Vatican news), the late Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, former President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, was adamant about the importance of the family in its traditional sense to ensure healthy children and a healthy society, and about the harm done to children if they are placed into a homosexual environment.

"[Adoption by homosexual couples] would destroy the child’s future, it would be an act of moral violence against the child," he said. "The United Nations Convention dated 1998 says that the greatest principle is the good of the child, the rights of the child. This is a central principle in the constitutions of the many countries which signed the Convention."

In the Fides interview the Cardinal went on to speak about the sacred right of each child to belong to a "real family" where the child is loved and enabled "to grow and to develop harmoniously." Cardinal Trujillo then noted that when he presented these points to the United Nations Convention of The Hague in 1996, he was met with unanimous accord.

"Now I am criticized for my work which is something the Church has always preached to the whole world. It has been preached by John Paul II, the then-Cardinal, today our beloved Pope, Ratzinger, the Bishops Conferences. It is not a personal opinion; it is my duty because my mission is to promote and protect the family," said Cardinal Trujillo. (Read this important interview in full here: