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Written Answers - Inter-Country Adoptions

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 238.  Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue  asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald  the countries and locations to which Irish citizens can currently apply to adopt children; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3141/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald With effect from 1 November 2010, intercountry adoptions can be effected with other countries which have ratified the Hague Convention or with which Ireland has a bilateral agreement. 57 countries have ratified the Hague Convention and Ireland currently has no bilateral agreements in respect of intercountry adoption. As the Hague Convention is designed to ensure a minimum set of standards in intercountry adoption, the Adoption Authority of Ireland have indicated that their first priority is to reach agreements on arrangements with other Hague countries. The AAI are currently developing administrative arrangements with a number of countries who are signatories to the Hague Convention, including the USA, Mexico and Vietnam.

Under the provisions of section 73 of the Adoption Act, 2010, “the Authority, with the prior consent of the Minister, may enter into discussions with any non-contracting state concerning the possibility of the Government entering into a bilateral agreement with that State.” The Authority and my officials held exploratory meetings with Russian authorities in December in relation to preliminary discussions around the potential for a bilateral on intercountry adoption with that State. In addition, I have recently given the AAI approval for the commencement of the process of examining the feasibility of a bilateral agreement with Ethiopia. The assessment of non-Hague countries and the possibility of entering discussions on a bilateral is complex and resource intensive. I have to have regard to the resources available to the AAI and to my Department, and to the work priorities of both.

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