Dáil Éireann - Volume 517 - 30 March, 2000

Written Answers. - Adoption Law.

113. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will consider increasing the age limit guideline of 46 years for adoption. [9412/00]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): The guidelines in relation to age limits applying to couples seeking assessment for intercountry adoption were issued by the Adoption Board in December 1999. As already advised to the House, the Adoption Board is an independent statutory body established under the Adoption Act, 1952, and is responsible for the administration of adoption law. As the primary body responsible for adoption matters, it has developed a specialised knowledge of the issues surrounding adoption both domestic and intercountry. Its experience [412] and expertise in this area is well established. The former Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Deputy Fahey, outlined in detail the reasoning behind the Adoption Board's decision to issue these guidelines on 27 January last in Parliamentary Question No. 99. Since this matter is now the subject of High Court proceedings I do not think that it would be appropriate for me to comment further at this time.