Amended Bill Sets Out Pathway to Long Overdue Open Adoption in Ireland

“Open adoption allows for more honest and compassionate recognition of the complexity of many family situations,” says Senator Alice Mary Higgins.

The Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016 passed through the final stages of the Dáil this evening, Thursday 13th July 2017. This Bill, which contains a number of progressive proposals on adoption, also contains a ground-breaking amendment brought in by Senator Alice-Mary Higgins in the Seanad.

Seanad amendment opens up long-overdue pathway to open adoption in Ireland

Many countries across the world have long seen open or semi-open adoption as an important option within any modern adoption system. However, Ireland has, to date, only ever allowed for closed adoption in which there are no formal or recognised ongoing connections between a new adoptive family, a birth parent and a child who is adopted.
Barnardos, the Care Leavers Network and many other advocacy groups and experts have long called for change in this area and it seems now that change may finally become possible.

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins outraged and disappointed at the cynical rollback by government on hedgerow protection in Heritage Bill 2016

13th April 2017 
Over months of coordinated pressure and opposition in the Seanad led by Senator Alice-Mary Higgins, the Government had been forced to dilute highly controversial proposals in Heritage Bill 2016. However, a last minute amendment from Minister Humphries at the final stage of the bill in the Seanad threatens to undo much of the progress won.