Adoption Bill, 1976: Report and Final Stages.

Wednesday, 30 June 1976

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 291 No. 14

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[2212] Question proposed: “That the Bill do now pass.”

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  May I make a few remarks in the very short time left? I have read this Bill and agree fully with its objectives, what it sets out to do and why it has to set out to try to achieve these objectives. But in all honesty, I have some apprehension about some of the provisions. The Bill had to be brought in in a great hurry for obvious reasons and it has had to be passed in a great hurry. It is one of these Bills that one cannot be 100 per cent satisfied that everything in it is perfect and that at least some of its provisions are not going to encounter difficulties in the court afterwards because of the circumstances of the particularly speedy passage. The aspect of the whole problem as it stands now, with the passage of this Bill, which is most important is the fact that reference has been made to the possible unconstitutionality of the 1952 Act, and if the 1952 Act is possibly unconstitutional, some of the amendments to it may be also. The question of whether it is or it is not is a matter that should be decided as quickly as possible and finally and definitively. There still remained some element of doubt after the possibility of that had been raised, and some means should be found to get a definitive answer to that at the earliest possible time.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark Cooney  Let me say, lest the remarks Deputy O'Malley has made cause apprehension, we are well satisfied that the measures proposed to cure the situation raised by the Supreme Court decision are adequate. To be doubly sure, constitutional amendments will be made, and I want to assure any adoptive parent that the possession, custody and legal status of his child, in so far as it can be guaranteed, will be guaranteed.

Question put and agreed to.

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