The Irish approved an amendment to their national constitution on Saturday that will bring it into compliance with mandates of the United Nations that govern the state’s seizure of children. The margin was 57 percent to 43 percent.
The Alliance of Parents against the State campaigned against passage of the referendum on the measure, which APS says will diminish the rights of parents and give the Irish government nearly unbridled power to seize children. Even worse, APS charges, Irish law will come under the control of the United Nations. The APS and other opponents will likely challenge the result.
The amendment’s key words that pertain to the power the state are “best interests” — meaning the “best interests” of the child. Supposedly the state must always keep the “best interests” of a child uppermost in its decision to seize him. Problem is, APS says, the state determines what those “best interests” are.
Before the referendum passed, the law governing the Irish government’s power to seize children rested in Article 5 of the country’s Constitution, known in the Irish as the Bunreacht na hÉireann:
In exceptional cases, where the parents for physical or moral reasons fail in their duty towards their children, the State as guardian of the common good, by appropriate means shall endeavour to supply the place of the parents, but always with due regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the child.
That straightforward and simple codicil will be replaced by this 31st amendment to the constitution:
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