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Constitution of Ireland


Article 41.1.1 The State recognizes the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law. Article 41.1.2 The State, therefore, guarantees to protect the Family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State. Article 41.2.1 In particular, the State recognizes that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved. Article 41.2.2 The State shall, therefore, endeavor to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labor to the neglect of their duties in the home. Article 41.3.1 The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded, and to protect it against attack. Article 41.3.2 A Court designated by law may grant a dissolution of marriage where, but only where, it is satisfied that - (i) at the date of the institution of the proceedings, the spouses have lived apart from one another for a period of, or periods amounting to, at least four years during the previous five years, (ii) there is no reasonable prospect of a reconciliation between the spouses, (iii) such provision as the Court considers proper having regard to the circumstances exists or will be made for the spouses, any children of either or both of them and any other person prescribed by law, and (iv) any further conditions prescribed by law are complied with.Article 41.3.3 No person whose marriage has been dissolved under the civil law of any other State but is a subsisting valid marriage under the law for the time being in force within the jurisdiction of the Government and Parliament established by this Constitution shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage within that jurisdiction during the lifetime of the other party to the marriage so dissolved. Article 41.3.4 4 Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law
by two persons without distinction as to their sex. Article 42A..1 The state recognises and affirms the natural and
imprescriptible rights of all children and shall, as far as practicable, by its laws protect and vindicate those rights.
Article 42A..1 In exceptional cases, where the parents, regardless of their marital status, fail in their duty towards their chidren to such extent that the safety or welfare of any of their children is likely to be prejudicially affected, the state as guardian of the common good shall, by proportionate means as provided by law, endeavour to supply
the place of the parents, but always with due
regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the child.
Article 42A.2 Provision shall be made by law for the adoption of any child where the parents have failed for such a period of time as may be prescribed by law in their duty towards the child and where the best interests of the child so require.
Article 42A.3 Provision shall be made by law for the voluntary placement for adoption and the adoption of any child.
Article 42.A.4.1 Provision shall be made by law that in the resolution of all proceedings –i brought by the state, as guardian of the
common good, for the purpose of
preventing the safety and welfare of any
child from being prejudically affected, or
ii concerning the adoption, guardianship or
custody of, or access to, any child,
the best interests of the child shall be the
paramount consideration.
Article 42.A.4.2 Provision shall be made by law for securing, as far as practicable, that in all proceedings referred
to in subsection 1° of this section in respect of any child who is capable of forming his or her own views, the views of the child shall be ascertained and given due weight having regard to the age and maturity of the child.