Long-term foster care ("LTFC") is the predominant permanent option for children who are likely to remain in care in Ireland. The Adoption Bill 2012 (the "2012 Bill"), published at the time of the holding of the Children's Referendum but not progressed since, seeks to ease existing legal restrictions in respect of adoption of children living in foster care. Against a backdrop of overall adoption trends in Ireland, this paper explores the 2012 Bill. It unpacks the concept of "permanency", discusses the incentives and disincentives involved in moving between foster care and adoption, and identifies key questions needed to shape the debate.
How the passing of the Children's Referendum and its revision of the Constitution play out in the Irish legislature and court system remain to be determined.