Public Consultation on the Potential Introduction of Open or Semi-Open Adoption in Ireland

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is seeking your opinions to inform a review on the potential introduction of open or semi-open adoption in Ireland.

‘Open adoption’ is most commonly understood to refer to arrangements involving post-adoption contact between members of birth and adoptive families of adopted children under 18. ‘Semi-open adoption’ usually means arrangements for indirect contact such as the sharing of information and or items between members of birth and adoptive families, usually facilitated or mediated by social workers. In practice, open adoption and semi-open adoption may take on many different forms, including:

  • Birth parents providing information to social workers about themselves and their lives, such as their medical histories or family background, so that these details can be shared with the adopted child;
  • The adoptive parents writing to the birth parents by regular arrangement to let them know how the adopted child is getting on, in school, for instance;
  • Face to face meetings or visits between the adopted child and his or her birth parent;
  • Birth parents sending birthday cards to the adopted child; or
  • Arrangements for the adopted child to meet up with his or her birth siblings or grandparents

By answering this short survey, you will assist the Department in carrying out its review on the potential introduction of open or semi-open adoption in Ireland. The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has committed to laying a report based on this review and consultation before the Oireachtas by November 2019.

By law, the Department cannot publish anyone’s individual details or responses. All personal information is kept strictly confidential. We appreciate that your privacy is important to you, so we’ve included a privacy notice here. This explains your rights as a data subject under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Only nominated staff in the Adoption Policy Unit and the Research and Evaluation Unit in DCYA will see and analyse anonymous survey responses. Only aggregate results will be generated and they will not be linked with any other data.

If you have any other questions, please contact us at adoption_consultation@dcya.gov.ie and we will be happy to help.

This survey is open for responses until Friday the 7th of June 2019

About You

Do you consent to the information you provide being published in an anonymised form?

If you are an individual or paid staff member working in the area of adoption, please state *

Do you have personal or professional first-hand experiences of adoption? *

This may include adoption being considered for you or for your foster or birth child

Are the children birth-related to each other? *

What age (in years) was the child when he/she was adopted?

If you are the parent of an adopted child or young person, or in the process of adopting a child, how old is the child?
Please give their age at their last birthday

If you are considering adoption, do you have any preferences for the age range of any child you might adopt? *

Are you *

Your direct experiences of adoption

This section asks about your direct, first-hand experiences of adoption, either as an adopted individual and/ or as a parent or relative of an adopted child; as someone considering or in the process of adoption; or as someone working in the area of adoption.

If you are a social worker, counsellor or other individual working in the area of adoption, we ask you to respond on the basis of what have been your most frequent experiences of the voluntary contact arrangements for the families you have worked with.

What type(s) of adoption, if any, do you have personal experience of?*

Please select all that apply.

Based on your experiences, has there been any contact between birth families and adoptive families in respect of adopted children under 18 years of age? *

Please select all that apply.

Was contact between the birth and adoptive family members wanted? *

What was the first method of contact? *

Who first made contact? *

When was contact first made? *

Based on your experiences, who are the people most frequently involved in any form of voluntary contact? *

Please select all that apply.

If you are a birth or adoptive family member, are you still in contact with the adoptive/birth family? *

What forms of voluntary contact have been made? *

Please select all that apply.

Considering the main forms of contact you have had or are aware of, in general how frequent have these been? *

Based on your experiences, who is most likely to actively seek contact (direct or indirect) between birth and adoptive families? *

Please select all that apply.

Outcomes and impacts of indirect or direct voluntary contact arrangements between birth and family members in respect of adopted children under 18

Based on your experiences, to what extent did indirect or direct forms of contact benefit the adopted child? *

If you are a social worker, counsellor or other individual working in the area of adoption, we ask you to respond on the basis of what have been your most frequent experiences of the voluntary contact arrangements for the families you have worked with.

In your view are there any positive impacts of direct or indirect forms of contact for the adopted child under 18?

What in your view are the three most important positive impacts of direct or indirect forms of contact for the adopted child under 18? *

Please rank the following statements according to the top three positive impacts, with 1 being the most positive impact for the child.
 
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In your view are there any negative impacts of direct or indirect forms of contact for the adopted child under 18?

What in your view were the three negative impacts for the adopted child? *

Please rank the following statements according to the three least positive impacts, with 1 being the least positive impact for the child.
 
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In your view are there any positive impacts of direct or indirect forms of contact for the families?

What in your view are the three most important positive impacts of direct or indirect forms of contact for the adoptive and/or birth families?*

Please rank the following statements according to the top three positive impacts, with 1 being the most positive impact for the adoptive and/or birth families.
 
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2
3

In your view are there any negative impacts of direct or indirect forms of contact for the families?

What in your view were the three negative impacts for the adoptive and/or birth families?*

Please rank the following statements according to the three least positive impacts, with 1 being the least positive impact for the adoptive and/or birth families.
 
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Preferred voluntary contact arrangements between birth and adoptive family members in respect of adopted children under 18.

This section asks about what types of voluntary contact arrangements you might like based on your direct experiences of adoption.

Would you like there to be some form of voluntary contact between members of the birth family and members of the adoptive family? *

if you could have some form of voluntary contact, who would like to be involved in the contact? *

Please select all that apply.

In what way would like voluntary contact to be established? *

Please rank your preferred top three methods of initiating contact, with 1 being your most preferred method.
 
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What forms of voluntary contact do you think you would you like? *

Please select all that apply.

When do you think you would you like the initial voluntary contact to be made? *

How frequently do you think you would you like voluntary contact between birth and adoptive family members *

Next Steps

In this section we would like your views on if and how the State might better support and/or facilitate voluntary contact arrangements, between birth and adoptive families in respect of adopted children under 18.

In your opinion, do you think people in Ireland are generally aware of current informal arrangements for post-adoption contact that take place between some families?

Under what circumstances should the State make formal provision to support voluntary contact arrangements between birth and adoptive families? Please select as many boxes as apply. *

Please select as many boxes as apply.

Who should be involved in any voluntary contact arrangements that the State may provide for? *

Please select as many boxes as apply.

What are the most important ways that the State could support voluntary contact arrangements between birth and adoptive families? *

Please rank your preferred choices for formal provision by number, with 1 being your top choice. Please select at least three options.
 
Order

Further Comments

If you have any additional comments in relation to the Department's review on the potential introduction of open or semi-open adoption in Ireland which you would like to bring to our attention, please tell us below