Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
31. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 568 of 4 November 2014 regarding the 110 adoptions from Ethiopia and the 201 adoptions from Russia that have taken place here since the Adoption Act was enacted in 2010 the systems that his Department, the Adoption Authority of Ireland and any other agencies involved put in place to ensure that only reputable non-domestic adoption agencies are engaged in the adoption process, to avoid situations whereby persons engage in unethical practices such as applying hidden fees, lying about the condition of the child, or lying about whether or not the child involved truly is an orphan. [43925/14]
The Adoption Act, 2010 was commenced on 1 November 2010. The commencement of the Act coincided with Ireland's ratification of the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption. The legislation, which incorporates the provisions of the Hague Convention, is designed to provide a framework to ensure that appropriate procedures are followed.
The Adoption Act, 2010, contained a transitional provision to enable prospective adoptive parents to proceed with an adoption from a non-Hague or non-bilateral country, if prior to the establishment date, they had been issued with a Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability to adopt. The Adoption Authority advises that since the enactment of the Adoption Act 2010, applicants for an entry in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions have been required to swear an affidavit confirming that the adoptions they effected in Russia and Ethiopia respectively, complied with the definition of a ‘foreign’ adoption as outlined in Section 1 of the Adoption Act 1991. The adoptive parents stated that the following requirements were satisfied:
(a) the consent to the adoption of every person whose consent to the adoption was, under the law of the place where the adoption was effected, required to be obtained or dispensed with was obtained or dispensed with under that law,
(b) the adoption has essentially the same legal effect as respects the termination and creation of parental rights and duties with respect to the child in the place where it was effected as an adoption effected by an adoption order,
(c) the law of the place where the adoption was effected required an enquiry to be carried out, as far as was practicable, into the adopters, the child and the parents or guardian,
(d) the law of the place where the adoption was effected required the court or other authority or person by whom the adoption was effected, before doing so, to give due consideration to the interests and welfare of the child,
(e) the adopters have not received, made or given or caused to be made or given any payment or other reward (other than any payment reasonably and properly made in connection with the making of the arrangements for the adoption) in consideration of the adoption or agreed to do so.