Written Answers - Foreign Adoptions.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 698 No. 5

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  105.  Deputy Denis Naughten  Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the interim [1158]measures she intends to put in place in respect of foreign adoption applicants who have submitted applications in advance of the enactment of the Adoption Bill; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [47817/09]

Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Deputy Barry Andrews): Information on Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  The Adoption Bill, 2009, 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. The new legislation, which incorporates the provisions of the Hague Convention, is designed to provide a framework to ensure that appropriate procedures have been followed and that all adoptions are effected in the best interests of the child. Future intercountry adoption arrangements will be governed by the terms of the Adoption Bill 2009 when enacted.

The current policy position, as set out in the Adoption Bill 2009, is that for an adoption to be registered under the Bill it must be effected in a contracting State to the Hague Convention or in a country with which Ireland has a bilateral agreement. For non-Hague countries only those adoptions effected prior to the commencement of the new law can be registered on the Register of Inter-Country Adoptions to be established under the Bill. The issue of transitional measures for prospective parents who are at a definable stage in the adoption process when the Bill is enacted and who wish to continue to adopt a child from a non-Hague, non-bilateral country, is being examined. Prospective adoptive parents have waited a long time and it is my intention to be as flexible as possible in relation to applicants.

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