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illegal private adoptions from Mexico
FIONA GARTLAND and GERARD COUZENS
Mon, Jan 16, 2012
THE CHAIRMAN of the Adoption Authority of Ireland has warned prospective
adoptive parents not to enter into any private arrangements in Mexico.
Geoffrey Shannon said while some individual states within Mexico allow
private adoption, none sanction private inter-country adoption.
The warning comes after Mexican police said they were planning to
question 11 Irish couples following the discovery of an international
child-smuggling ring. Seven babies were taken away from the couples
after the arrest of three local women accused of buying them from their
mothers. Another two babies were removed from a mother accused of
The babies, aged between two and two years and eight months, have been
put into care. Local papers reported the birth mothers were paid €70 a
week plus medical expenses while pregnant.
The Irish couples are expected to be questioned in Guadalajara, the
capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco. State attorney Tomas Coronado
said some of the Irish couples had the babies with them because they
were told living with them “was part of the process they needed to go
through to adopt”.
No formal accusations have been made against the Irish couples, and
investigators said they wanted to determine if they were duped into
thinking they were taking part in a lawful process.
Mexico is a signatory to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children
and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.
Mr Shannon stressed he could not make any comment on the individual
applicants in the case.
A delegation from the authority had travelled to Mexico on December 9th,
he said, and discussed issues related to the adoption process and
accreditation with their counterparts in the Mexican National Central
There had been “anecdotal evidence” about private international
adoptions and the authority wanted to be “proactive” and establish
administrative arrangements for prospective adoptive parents from
The Mexican authorities had stated there was only one system of
intercountry adoption within Mexico: a public and statutorily regulated
system. No children under five should be proposed for intercountry
adoption, with the exception of children with special needs. And all
documentation for intercountry adoption must be sent by the Irish
authority to the Federal Central Authority.
“Our position is very clear. Prospective adoptive parents should not
enter into any private arrangements to effect an adoption in Mexico,”
said Mr Shannon. He said since the authority was established in November
2010, it had issued advisories including about Mexico. Its approach has
always been that adoptions in any jurisdiction should be arranged
“central authority to central authority”.
“Private adoptions generally should be avoided,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said yesterday the
Irish Embassy in Mexico was in contact with a representative from the
group and with a lawyer representing the group.
© 2012 The Irish Times
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