independent

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Foster mum fears effect of low turnout

Published 06/11/2012 | 18:27

ONE person waiting anxiously to vote at the weekend is a County Wexford foster mother, who asked not to be named.

She was on edge because callers and texters to a radio station appeared to come exclusively from the 'No' camp and she is firmly of the 'Yes' persuasion. And she was concerned that a low turnout might favour the opponents of the proposal, which she sees as an attempt to put a better balance in Bunreacht na hEireann.

' The constitutional rights at the moment are in favour of families rather than the individual child,' she argued, speaking as someone who has witnessed at second hand the reality that some families simply fail to provide a secure upbringing for their offspring.

She and other members of the Irish Foster Care Association have been urging everyone to exercise their vote and make it count on the 'Yes' side.

She points out that many children in long term care have no prospect of seeing their biological parents and yet no possibility of benefitting from a permanent adoption either if mother and father are married.

'A child's right to adoption should not be determined by the marital status of their birth parents,' she said, adding the legal argument: 'Ireland ratified the European Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990 and signed up to it in 1992. However, without this amendment to the constitution, our national constitution is in contravention of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.'

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