Press Release

Minister Lenihan announces a major improvement in adoptive leave entitlements

Brian Lenihan, T.D., Minister for Children, today, 17 October, announced a major improvement in adoptive leave for employees:

“I am particularly pleased to be able to announce today a significant development in relation to the adoptive leave entitlement for employees. The Government at its meeting earlier this week approved proposals by the Minister for Justice Equality and Law reform for an increase in the adoptive leave period by two weeks bringing the statutory period of adoptive leave attracting payment to 16 weeks. I welcome these amendments to adoptive leave which will greatly enhance and strengthen the existing framework for adopting persons.”

The Minister made the announcement as he launched the second stage of a public consultation on adoption. A two day conference in the Hilton Hotel in Dublin will discuss a wide range of issues which have been raised in written submissions.

“Since coming into office I have become aware of the need to look very critically at adoption legislation. The primary legislation was drafted 60 years ago, at a time when Irish society was very different in many ways from the society we live in today. I was also anxious that we take the opportunity to get the views of those most affected by the legislation so that we can plan better for the future and avoid the mistakes of the past.”

On the first day of the conference delegates will discuss current adoption, issues both domestic and inter-country, as well as looking at possible alternatives to adoption such as guardianship. The second day will be devoted to discussing what information should be available to adopted people, natural parents and others affected by adoption.

“Many of these issues are very sensitive and I welcome the opportunity to receive feedback from people who have experience the impact of these measures on their lives.”