Katherine Zappone says she hopes the proposed laws will allow more children to 'grow up in a family environment with loving parents'
A Bill which would allow children in care to be adopted has been passed by the Dáil this evening.
The Adoption Amendment Bill will allow any child to be adopted - irrespective of their parents' marital status - where the parents give their consent.
It will also provide for adoptions through the High Court when parents don't consent and for children in foster care to be adopted.
It also proposes improved provisions to allow step-parents adopt.
The Bill will now move to the Seanad, with Children's Minister Katherine Zappone saying she hopes the laws - "which will benefit hundreds of children in care" - will be enacted next year.
Minister Zappone said: “The Bill provides for a number of changes each of which will give more children the opportunity to grow up in a family environment with loving, caring and nurturing parents."