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Couples devastated by
Irish Examiner, Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 06:33 PM
Eleven Irish couples caught up in an alleged adoption scam in Mexico
have been left devastated by the affair, they said tonight.
While the lawyer at the centre of the baby trafficking plot remains on
the run, the families who returned home last weekend have insisted they
believed they were acting legally.
Offices belonging to the Lopez Y Lopez firm in Guadalajara have been
raided and documents seized and six employees detained by police.
Carlos Lopez, who claims to have arranged the adoption of up to 60
children from Mexico to Ireland since 2004, is wanted over the apparent
The 11 Irish couples, in their 30s and 40s and mainly from Dublin, are
said to have followed official rules to the letter and only remained in
the country after the affair broke more than a week ago to give
statements to authorities.
Carlos Montoya, a lawyer from Guadalajara, western Mexico, acting for
the couples, said they were carrying all relevant documentation needed
to complete legal adoption in Mexico.
“Naturally all the families are devastated with the turn of events,”
he said on their behalf.
“All the families believed they were involved in public,
Hague-compliant, legal adoptions. All families had valid Declarations to
Adopt from Mexico as issued by the Adoption Authority of Ireland
Mr Montoya added: “I can tell you this much: they are innocent. They
tried to adopt children legally.
“They did not know what was going on, they had no suspicions of
wrongdoing and they called the Irish embassy when police started asking
A US-based adoption agency is believed to have put the couples in
contact with Lopez, who has claimed to have acted as a go-between for 20
years with families from around the world.
The scam involved mothers of babies being paid about 755 US dollars
(€5750) for their youngsters to take part in photoshoots for a number
Instead they were being groomed for trafficking in illegal adoption.
Prosecutors believe childless couples seeking a youngster from Mexico,
who went through rigorous checks under the Hague Convention, were
charged expenses to cover medical bills, lawyers’ rates, nanny
services and expensive flat charges, up to 30,000 US dollars
Reports in Mexico have said that Irish couples were advised to stay in
the coastal resort town of Ajijic and wait for the child to be brought
and remain there for days or weeks to bond.
Since the scandal broke earlier this month when a Mexican mother was
reportedly stopped from selling her baby, 10 youngsters have been placed
The Irish couples were advised to return to Ireland amid fears they
could face blackmail.
The AAI has refused to comment on Irish couples unwittingly involved in
an apparent trafficking racket, saying it does not discuss individual
The agency held board meetings for several hours today to discuss the
Mr Montoya, based in Jalisco, has received copies of files built up over
three years by the couples to secure adoption and certified by the AAI.
He was asked by the Irish embassy in Mexico to assist the couples.
A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said the couples only
remained in Mexico to give statements. No Irish people have been
here to return to the news page
|“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
Alex Haley, Author of Roots