Press Release

Hanafin Launches ‘Pregnant and Thinking About Adoption’ Guide

Minister for Children, Mary Hanafin T.D., has today (Tuesday, December 5th, 2000) launched a new information guide for expecting mothers who are considering giving their child up for adoption.

“The aim of the guide, entitled ‘Pregnant and Thinking About Adoption’, is to ensure that those considering the option of adoption have all the necessary information on the process. This will assist pregnant women in making decisions for their child’s future,” stressed Minister Hanafin.

“Importantly, the guide highlights the importance of linking in with the social worker at the maternity hospital as early as possible in the pregnancy. In addition, it clarifies the role of the social worker at the adoption agency, which is to help mothers look at both the option of keeping their child or placing them for adoption,” Minister Hanafin explained.

The many important legal and social issues which need to be considered when thinking about placing a child for adoption are also clarified in the guide.

Minister Hanafin added: “Adoption in Ireland is becoming much more open, and the guide encourages women who place their child for adoption to keep in touch with the adoption agency, so as to provide up-to-date information which may be relevant to the child as they grow up.”

“This guide also helps to ensure that not only do pregnant women who are thinking about adoption get clear information, but that the professionals working with them also have relevant information,” she added.

In 1999, over 30% of births in Ireland were to unmarried women, with the number of Irish children adopted here last year at 94. Between 1991-1999, 1,005 children from abroad were adopted by couples in Ireland, and there are presently over 1,000 couples who have applied for inter-country adoption assessment. “The decrease in domestic adoptions is leading to couples going to Russia, Guatemala and China for children. Information such as this guide will help mothers to at least consider the option of adoption in Ireland,” the Minister said.

“This guide is particularly important for those who may find themselves in a crisis pregnancy situation, and who may feel that their options are severely limited,” concluded Minister for Children, Mary Hanafin T.D.

Note: This leaflet was prepared by social workers from the registered adoption agencies, Cunamh and PACT, and the Northern Eastern Health Board, Child and Family Centre, the Social Work Departments of the three Dublin maternity hospitals and Treoir (Federation of Services for Unmarried Parents.)