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Adoption Issues

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Senator


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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald)

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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald)

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Frances Fitzgerald

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Snippet Contents:

I am aware that a small number of applicants who were at a late stage in adopting from Russia when the changes to Russian legislation were enacted were unable to complete these adoptions before 31 October, 2013 as the Section 63 declarations of eligibility and suitability to adopt expired on that date. Since this issue was brought to my attention, officials in my Department have been seeking a way to address the problems due to the sudden change in Russian legislation.
It is my understanding that in order to adopt from Russia it is necessary to have a valid declaration of eligibility and suitability to adopt on the date of the court hearing to finalise the adoption, and for a specified period thereafter before the Court order takes effect. In order that those affected could continue with their adoption, which was stopped by this change in Russian law, an amendment to the Adoption Act, 2010, would be necessary.
The advice of the Attorney General has been sought and I understand that in principle it is possible to enact legislation which could retrospectively extend the period of validity to declarations. As the Adoption Act, 2010, is drafted on the basis of the incorporation of the Hague Convention and the minimum set of standards outlined therein, the implications of amending the Act must be carefully examined before I make a decision to amend the legislation. My Department, in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General, is examining if it is possible to address this situation within the parameters of Irish law and the Constitution.