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Couples held in Mexico
facing ban on adoptions
By Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent
Irish Independent, Friday January 20 2012
THE Irish couples being questioned by police in Mexico who are
investigating alleged child trafficking now risk being banned from
adopting in the future.
Around 11 Irish couples are under investigation for allegedly being
involved in the trafficking of children whom they intended to adopt.
Yesterday, an official said four of the 10 children seized during the
investigation in western Mexico showed signs of sexual abuse.
The Adoption Authority in Ireland is now expected to re-examine the
Irish couples' declaration giving them permission to adopt.
Under new legislation introduced in November 2010, when Ireland ratified
the child-protection Hague Treaty, the authority for the first time has
the right to withdraw the declaration if it considers people to be
This would mean that they would be banned from adopting a child abroad
in the future.
The chairman of the Adoption Authority, Geoffrey Shannon, said yesterday
that he could not comment on the cases in Mexico.
But he confirmed that the authority had new powers of withdrawal of
declarations which it has not invoked since the new legislation came
Mr Shannon said the Adoption Authority had issued several warnings about
the ban on private adoptions in Mexico over several months and that a
delegation had travelled to the country in December after concerns came
Tomas Coronado, the attorney general in Jalisco in Mexico said the
children were examined by doctors, but offered no other details.
"There are four children who show signs of having been abused
(sexually), perhaps not in a violent way but there are signs (of
abuse)," Mr Coronado said.
He could not elaborate because of the investigation and did not say when
the alleged abuse would have taken place.
There is no suggestion that any of the Irish couples were involved in
Fifteen Irish citizens have already talked to authorities, said a
spokesman for Jalisco state prosecutors.
The foreign couples were giving 1,200 pesos (€145) a week to the
mothers since pregnancy and paying their medical bills.
Later, the Mexican mothers would also be paid for allowing the children
to stay with the couples while the purported adoption process proceeded,
Mr Coronado said.
"The great majority of the people from Ireland who have given their
testimony have said they thought it was part of the adoption protocol in
the state to be paying. That obviously means (someone was making) a
profit," he said.
Investigators are trying to determine if the Irish couples "acted
in bad faith", Mr Coronado said, or if they were being tricked.
The Irish embassy in Mexico said that it was providing consular advice
to the couples involved.
Yesterday, about a dozen state police officers raided a two-storey home
in a middle-class Guadalajara neighbourhood that local media said
belonged to the lawyers processing the adoptions.
- Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent
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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