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New Adoption laws signal significant shift in policy

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The Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017 has come into force today (19 October) in Ireland.
The Act represents a significant shift in the policy underpinning adoption in Ireland. 
Originally, adoption was viewed as a way of providing marital families for non-marital children, 'rescuing them' from what was long considered the stigma of 'illegitimacy'. The 2017 Act signals a sea-change in this regard, allowing, as it does, the adoption of children born inside marriage, and allowing cohabiting couples to adopt jointly.
Who can adopt Prior to the 2017 Act, only married couples (including those of the same sex) could jointly adopt children. Unless the circumstances were extreme, children couldonly be adopted if they were orphans or born outside marriage.Previously, a child born inside marriage could only be adopted in cases of extreme abandonment or where both parents had died.
The Act also allowscivil partners and cohabitants to apply to adopt children jointly. Previously, only a marr…

New laws will ban payment for prostitution

While various activities associated with prostitution have long been illegal, the act of paying a person to engage in sexual activity had not been a crime in Ireland up until 27 March 2017.  In the past, prostitution was generally viewed as a legal problem only when it manifested itself in the public domain. Hence, the legal regulation of prostitution tended to focus on issues such as public solicitation, loitering for the purpose of prostitution, brothel-keeping, and the advertisement of prostitution. Up until relatively recently, what happened in the bedroom had generally beenregarded as legally irrelevant (provided all participants were of age and consented).
Payment for sex This has just changed with the passage of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017. The Act has been passed by the Dáil and Seanad, and signed by the President. The provisions relating to prostitution have now been commenced with effect from 27 March 2017.  These new provisions make it an offence to pay, offer…