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Adi Roche optimistic about future of Belarusian adoptions

The Journal, 22nd April 2011

THE HEAD OF CHILDREN’S charity Chernobyl Children International has said she’s received indications from the Belarusian government that it’s interested in resuming adoptions to Ireland.

The inter-country adoptions were suspended several years ago, but Adi Roche claims her recent communications with the deputy foreign minister of Belarus have given her “hope” that they will now resume, according to the Irish Times.

The adoptions were suspended by Belarusian authorities as they sought to introduce new measures and staff to their adoption system.

Claire McGettrick of the Adoption Rights Alliance told TheJournal.ie that in each prospective adoption case, every effort should be made to locate the child’s parents and ascertain their family situation before going ahead with the adoption.

On 26 April 1986,  explosions at reactor number four of the Chernobyl nuclear power station in then-Soviet Ukraine released radioactive material into the air. Weather conditions on the night of the accident meant that a significant portion of that material was blown over Belarus.

Thyroid cancer rates for the region of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia affected by the radiation have shown a dramatic increase, according to the World Health Organisation, particularly among people who were young at the time of the accident. Congenital birth defect rates also increased dramatically.

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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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