A Yes vote in the upcoming Children’s referendum on Saturday November 10 will help ensure that vulnerable children are protected from harm.
This is the view of Fine Gael senator Fidelma Healy Eames, who said the referendum is a chance to make a clear statement about “how we value our children”.
“Everyone agrees that the family home is the best place for children, but in a small number of cases, this is unfortunately not the case, and children can be at risk in their own home,” she said. “This Referendum sets out how the State can intervene in exceptional cases where there is clear evidence of abuse to help these children and act in their best interests.”
The proposed amendment also states that any action must be ‘proportionate’ to the risks of the child.
Sen Healy Eames added that under our existing law, children can be treated differently in adoption, depending on the marital status of their parents.
“By voting Yes you can ensure all children are treated equally in adoption, and given the same chance to belong in a safe and loving home,” she said. “This will also help children stuck in limbo in long-term foster care, who want to be adopted but are restricted by the current system.”
Her Fine Gael colleague, Galway West TD Brian Walsh is also calling for a Yes vote.
“We have a chance to finally respond comprehensively to past failings by voting Yes to this referendum,” he said. “A string of reports over the last 20 years have detailed a litany of child protection failures. The sad reality is that child protection concerns have not, and will not, go away. We need to be ready to react when they do arise to protect children and support families.”