Adoption Reform

The child’s right to genetic ancestry as a key element of the best interests principle in adoption, donor and surrogacy contexts: reforming adoption law in Northern Ireland

Dr Alice Diver (Ulster)  This presentation looks at the right to genetic identity/relatedness, with reference to some recent controversial cases involving adoption, surrogacy, donor children in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and elsewhere in Europe. Such comparative research indicates that in many cases the rights of the child are either over looked or outweighed by parental interests/rights or in relation to issues of privacy, ‘ownership’, and immigration laws. Adoption law reform is needed in Northern Ireland. This presentation explains how this need presents an opportunity to avoid the controversies that are experienced elsewhere and to acknowledge/embed the best

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Making timely decisions for children: balancing differing needs in families

Prof Brigid Featherstone (OU) and Dr John Devaney (QUB) In both England and Northern Ireland there appears to be a policy consensus that early authoritative intervention is required with families in order to ensure vulnerable children do not remain too long in neglectful situations. Recent legislation in England – such as the Children and Families Act 2014 – contains timescales for court proceedings, alongside support for speeding up adoption processes. These developments are clearly aimed at ensuring the welfare of children is protected, but they do potentially contain implications for their parents and wider family networks, especially in a context

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