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Adoption – not abortion – is the best way

YOU report (September 1) that “Ireland is in the midst of a baby boom with the highest number of births in more than a century”.

This is very happy news for the parents and should the question of adoption arise, spare a thought for the many prospective parents on a long waiting list.

It disappoints me to hear some people cite abortion when there is a scarcity of babies for adoption.

I know couples hoping to adopt a child, but the waiting list brings pain and sorrow for many of them.

There are not enough babies available for adoption for all of the married couples who want them.

Many adoption societies have closed their doors to new applicants and will not increase the numbers currently on their waiting lists.

Many of those on waiting lists have to wait years rather than months before a child is placed with them.

Like many other public representatives I have been in touch with prospective adoptive parents who wish to adopt children abroad for a variety of reasons.

I have seen their joy and delight when they find a child for adoption.

But I have also seen the very deep worry and concern when their applications are turned down, due mainly to the age barrier.

The fact that more single mothers are now keeping their babies has had a big impact on our adoption services.

It has resulted in an increasing number of childless couples wishing to have a family through adoption looking abroad in their quest for a child.

At present, we in Ireland should consider ourselves very fortunate to be in such a comparatively affluent situation as to be able to consider adopting abroad.

We should not forget that not so long ago, through a combination of poverty and stigma, many unmarried mother were forced to go to England where their babies could be adopted and many of those who had their babies here had to give them up for adoption to people from the US, Canada and Australia because there was no proper provision in our law for their adoption by Irish people.

Thus, it was was a sense of national shame that led to the passing of the 1952 Adoption Act, which established legal adoption here for the first time.

All in all, adoption legislation has vastly improved compared to years past.

Therefore, any young girls, pregnant and contemplating taking the boat to Britain for an abortion, should stop and think ... remember there are many caring hands and homes in Ireland eager and waiting to adopt their babies.

There is no need to panic or run away from home when faced with such problems.

Next time a pregnant woman thinks of abortion, she should reflect and think of adoption instead. It is a much happier road to follow.

Cllr Noel Collins

St Jude’s

Midleton

Co Cork


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