Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Department of Health and Children
Question 525: To ask the Minister for Health and Children her plans to facilitate couples who wish to engage with other countries for adoption purposes in view of the breakdown in agreements between Ireland and Vietnam; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38660/09]
Barry Andrews (Minister of State with special responsibility for Children and Young People, Department of Health and Children; Minister of State, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Minister of State, Department of Education and Science; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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The Adoption Bill, 2009, which is designed to give force of law to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption, has passed through the Seanad and is scheduled to be debated in Dail Eireann in the current Dáil session.
Under the proposed new legislative regime, prospective adoptive parents will be able to adopt from countries which have ratified the Hague Convention, and from those countries with which Ireland has a bilateral agreement based on Hague standards. As part of the preparations for the likely passage and entry into force of these new legislative arrangements, my Office has been liaising with the Department of Foreign Affairs to identify and negotiate with countries who continue to seek homes abroad for children in need of alternative care which cannot be provided domestically.