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Ireland votes on referendum adding stronger rights for children to constitution

The Irish are voting on a referendum that would insert stronger rights for children into the constitution, making it easier for state agencies to protect children from abuse and for neglected kids to be adopted.

Ireland's 1937 constitution can be amended only through national referendums. All opinion polls indicate voter approval for Saturday's referendum, in part because of Ireland's scandal-plagued record on child protection.

The government plans to pass a trove of legislation if the amendment passes, chiefly to make it easier for many of the 6,250 children in care homes to be adopted. One bill would explicitly make it a crime to hide information on a suspected child abuser.

Results from the referendum, which asks voters "Yes" or "No," are expected Sunday.