BAAF in Northern Ireland
BAAF’s office is based in Belfast, we offer a regional programme of conferences, seminars and workshops of interest to all those working with and caring for children looked after away from home/adopted/separated from their birth family.
BAAF Northern Ireland also runs the Adoption Regional Information System for Northern Ireland (ARIS), a database linking children with prospective adoptive families. This service is provided by BAAF on behalf of the Health and Social Care Board. Visit the website www.ni-aris.org.uk. BAAF is registered as a Voluntary Adoption Agency with RQIA. View our statement of purpose PDF
Areas we cover
We cover the whole of Northern Ireland and also deal with enquiries from the Republic of Ireland.
How we can help
- Advice for members of the public and for professionals -on all aspects of adoption, fostering and planning for children.
- Consultancy services offering in depth help on individual complex cases, service reviews and team development.
- Training on a wide range of subjects for social workers, foster carers, adoptive parents, residential workers and other professionals.
BAAF Northern Ireland’s response re: announcement to the Supreme Court’s Ruling regarding Judicial Review - 23 October 2013
The ruling of the Supreme Court that there are no legal grounds to further challenge the outcome of the Judicial Review which ruled that it is unlawful to prevent unmarried and same-sex couples from jointly applying to adopt in Northern Ireland is welcomed by the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF). This issue, which in reality will affect only a small number of children, has contributed to significant delay in processing adoption reform locally, adversely impacting on a much wider group of children and their birth and adoptive families.
We now look forward to the consultation process in relation to the Adoption and Children’s’ Bill commencing without further delay.
The current position in relation to eligibility to adopt in NI is that unmarried couples, including those in same-sex relationships and in Civil Partnerships are eligible to make a joint application to adopt.
Same sex adoption in Northern Ireland
BAAF and the Institute of Child Care Research who both undertook the recently- launched care Pathways and Outcomes Study are confused by the Minister for Heath, Edwin Poots’ reference to the study in the Assembly. The Minister quoted the research, published by BAAF, as having confirmed his determination to further challenge the ruling of the recent Judicial Review that it is unlawful to prevent unmarried and same-sex couples from applying to adopt in Northern Ireland.
The study did not in fact explore the issue of adoption eligibility but rather is a comparison study of long term care options for children in the care system. However, a study, also published by BAAF earlier this year, conducted by the Centre for Family Research at Cambridge University found little difference between outcomes between children placed with heterosexual, gay or lesbian adoptive parents but noted higher levels of stress within the heterosexual group of parents in comparison to both the lesbian mothers and gay fathers. It is important that findings from this research, rather than the Care Pathways and Outcomes study, are used to inform the debate about same-sex adoption in Northern Ireland.
Regional Adoption Policies and Procedures
All adoption agencies in Northern Ireland are required to adhere to these policies and procedure which were introduced in 2006 and reviewed in 2010. Download or open the PDF