Protect children from abuse and neglect by voting Yes – Connaughton

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Paul Connaughton T.D. has this week urged people across East Galway to help protect children from abuse and neglect by voting Yes in next week’s Children’s Referendum on Saturday, November 10th.

‘I firmly believe that by voting Yes on Saturday next, people can help shield vulnerable children from abuse and neglect.  The changes which will be wrought by a Yes vote will underpin early intervention to protect vulnerable children in their homes. It will also ensure that all children are treated equally when it comes to adoption, currently that is not the case and this is something that needs to be addressed urgently. It will also ensure that children have a voice in their own future, which is also another important consideration, too often they have been left silent in the past.

‘Everyone accepts that the best place for a child to be brought up is within his or her family. But unfortunately this is not always the case. In a small minority of cases, what happens in a child’s family can be a serious threat to their safety and welfare. This Referendum sets out where, in these exceptional cases, the State can intervene. This isn’t about giving power away; rather this referendum proposes to use power – always ethically, professionally and justly – to protect and uphold the rights, the safety, the dignity and innocence of children.

            ‘Current Irish adoption laws are outdated. Most people are not aware that children wishing to be adopted can be treated differently, based on the marital status of their parents. So those in long term care can be left in limbo, being denied the option of being adopted into a loving family. By voting Yes, we can change this. Voting Yes will mean all children are treated equally in adoption, and given the same chance to live in a happy and healthy home.

            ‘Voting Yes will correct a number of important anomalies in the current system and countless reports in recent years have documented a litany of failings in terms of child protection. We need to be ready to react when children are in need of protection and that’s why I am urging people all across East Galway to vote Yes on Saturday, November 10th.’