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What does this mean?
It’s your right to live with your family, unless it is bad for you.
If you’re not able to live with your family, you should stay with a family who can care for you, like a foster care family.
If your family live in a different country to you, you should be able to keep in contact and to see each other, where possible.
EXAMPLE: Apart from your family, there are many other people in your life that give you care, like nurses, sports coaches, teachers and social workers.
Learn more about this right
Do I have this right in Ireland?
- It is your parent or guardian’s responsibility to care for you and help you grow into the best person you can be. It is the Government’s job to help your parents do this.
- The Irish Constitution says the family is the “primary and natural educator of the child”. You should learn what is right and wrong from your family and you should develop as a person in their care.
- Laws in Ireland like the Child Care Act speak about what should happen if your family isn’t able to look after you. It says you should be cared for by the State, like in foster care.
- Tusla is the Child and Family agency that look after children who are in different forms of foster care in Ireland.
- If you’ve been in a foster care family for 18 months, they are able to adopt you, if you’re happy with it.
- UNCRC, article 9– it’s your right to live with your parent(s), unless it is bad for you. You have the right to live with a family who cares for you.
- UNCRC, article 10 – it’s your right to be together with your parents if you live in a different country than your parents.
- UNCRC, article 18 – it’s your right to be raised by your parents if possible.
- UNCRC, article 20 – it’s your right to special care and help if you can’t live with your parents.
- UNCRC, article 21 – it’s your right to care and protection if you were adopted or in foster care.
- UNCRC, article 25 – if you live in care or in other situations away from home, it’s your right to have these living arrangements looked at regularly to see if they are the most appropriate.
Find out more
- EPIC – Find out how EPIC works with and for young people in care in Ireland
- Barnardos – Information for young people whose parents are separating or divorced.
- You Are Not Alone – This is a short film by the OCO and the Courts Service that gives young people information about some of the routes parents may take when they separate. (e.g. family mediation or going to court).
- Adoption Authority Ireland – This organisation has information and videos for young people about adoption in Ireland.