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Authority satisfied registered Mexican adoptions safe

By Conall Ó Fátharta, Irish Examiner

THE Adoption Authority (AAI) said it is satisfied all registered adoptions here from Mexico are "safe and secure" following more arrests in connection with an alleged trafficking ring planning to sell babies to Irish couples.

Prosecutors questioning 11 Irish couples about the apparent child trafficking ring, yesterday rescued a tenth baby and arrested three more women.

Authorities in the Mexican city of Guadalajara took the nine-month old baby boy into care after he was discovered at a country house in the town of Tonala, a suburb of the city.

In a statement, the Jalisco state prosecutor said the three women arrested had told authorities they had been hired as nannies to take care of children who were in the process of being adopted.

It remains unclear as to whether or not the Irish couples being questioned were travelling under an adoption visa, which is required in order to adopt from Mexico.

Private adoptions of babies to other countries were legal up to last year, but Mexico introduced tight restrictions on the practice in recent months.

There is only one system of inter-country adoption within Mexico, a public and statutorily regulated system. It stipulates that no children under five should be proposed for inter-country adoption, the only exceptions being children with special needs or sibling groups.

In a statement issued to the Irish Examiner yesterday, the AAI said it did not comment on individual registrations and declined to comment as to whether or not any children under five years old had been adopted to Ireland since that stipulation came into force.

However, it stressed that to "the best of our information, knowledge and belief, all adoptions which have been entered in the Register of Inter-country Adoptions are safe and secure".

The AAI has repeatedly warned prospective adoptive parents looking to adopt from Mexico "not to enter into private arrangements with private individuals or private agencies to adopt".

The latest arrests brings to 10 the total number of babies recovered as part of the investigation into the alleged adoption scam. Last week, authorities detained four women, and seized nine children between the ages of two months and two years old.

The women had reportedly taken a number of children to a hotel in Guadalajara where they met the Irish couples intending to adopt the children.

Public prosecutors in Jalisco are investigating whether the Irish couples, who were looking after the children, were duped into taking part in the scam.

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“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning . . . and the most disquieting loneliness." 

Alex Haley, Author of Roots 





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