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By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2011
A DELEGATION from the Adoption Authority have visited the US to examine
"a number of concerns" about adoptions between Ireland and the
US, in particular from Florida.
Florida is the most popular state for Irish people who wish to adopt
children from the US. Five children have been adopted from there this
year. However, issues have been raised about adoption practices in the
state for some time.
In particular, these have centred on the circumstances around the
securing of consent from natural mothers to the adoption, and the issue
of subsidiarity — where adoption is examined only after all other
options for the care of the child within his or her country of origin
have been explored.
The delegation, headed by Adoption Authority chairman Geoffrey Shannon,
met with officials from the US State Department last Friday. In a
statement, the authority described the meeting as "informative and
In response to a recent Dáil question, Children’s Minister Frances
Fitzgerald reiterated that the authority had to satisfy itself that all
adoptions into the country were compatible with Irish adoption law as
well as with the Hague Convention.
"In this regard, there are a number of critical and crucial aspects
of routine adoption practice and procedure within the state of Florida
which need to be examined by the Adoption Authority," she said.
"It is noteworthy that these aspects appear to be common to
virtually all inter-country adoptions by Irish adopters from that
Adoptions from Vietnam are expected to resume in the near future
following the country’s ratification of the Hague Convention.
Ireland ceased adopting children from Vietnam after it chose not to
resume its bilateral agreement with the country in May 2009 following
concerns raised in Unicef’s International Social Services report.
The US had suspended adoptions from Vietnam in September 2008 after it
uncovered evidence of baby selling and "baby farming".
The Irish Examiner understands Ireland’s decision was also influenced
by similar "serious concerns".
A recent delegation from the Oireachtas foreign affairs committee to
Ethiopia, as well as individual TDs have also raised the issue of
forging a bilateral agreement on adoption in Ethiopia.
However, concerns about Ethiopia have been raised notably by the US
State Department, amidst reports of direct recruitment of children from
birth parents by adoption service providers.
This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Tuesday,
November 29, 2011
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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
Alex Haley, Author of Roots