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Sunday Times 15th March 2009


I wish to correct an error in Mark Tighe’s Sunday Times (Irish Edition) article dated March 7th 2009 concerning Vietnamese adoptions, in which he referred to “The Hague convention on child abduction”. The convention’s proper title is in fact “The Hague Convention for the Protection of Children in Intercountry Adoption”.

While I’m sure the mistake was innocent, it was also quite ironic as the word “abduction” is often appropriate when it comes to intercountry adoption, because of the level of corruption that has been reported and experienced worldwide. I sincerely hope that the ratification of the Hague Convention will go a long way towards ensuring that intercountry adoptions into Ireland are ethical and above board.

I have a lot of sympathy for prospective adoptive parents affected by the legislative change who may now feel as if they are in limbo. However, I would urge these and any other prospective adopters in Ireland to consider the possibility of long term fostering.

Sadly there are thousands of Irish children who are in desperate need of homes and while the plight of children in the developing world cannot be ignored, their problems can be solved more effectively by keeping these children in their country of origin through programmes like child sponsorship.

It is admirable that so many Irish people are willing to give a child a home and they may not be aware of the foster care crisis. I believe the Adoption Board and the Health Service Executives should do more to encourage people in this position to consider applying to become foster parents.

Claire McGettrick

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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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