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Irish couples to be
quizzed over illegal adoptions
Four Mexican women arrested as part of probe
By Gerard Couzens
Sunday Indepdendent, January 15 2012
ELEVEN Irish couples are said to have been caught up in an investigation
into illegal child adoptions in Mexico.
The Irish couples were reportedly due to be interviewed by state
prosecutors over the weekend as police investigated a suspected child
adoption ring in Guadalajara.
Four Mexican women have been arrested and nine babies taken into state
A state attorney, Tomas Coronado, told local newspapers yesterday that
investigators wanted to interview 11 Irish couples.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said last night that the Irish Embassy
in Mexico had been in touch with the group of Irish parents and was
seeking more information.
"Our Embassy in Mexico is aware of the reports and is in contact
with a representative from the group and with a lawyer representing the
"The Embassy has requested details surrounding the circumstances of
this case from the Mexican authorities," said a spokesperson.
The Adoption Authority of Ireland recommended this month that parents
hoping to adopt from Mexico should not enter into any private
arrangements with agencies or individuals there. The authority has been
working with Mexico to establish formal regulated adoption procedures
between both countries.
Mexico is a signatory to the Hague Convention, which limits
inter-country adoptions to countries that sign up.
Reports in Mexico said seven babies who were said to be victims of an
illegal adoption scheme were taken away from the couples after the
arrest of three locals accused of buying them off their mothers and
handing them over to childless foreigners.
State attorney, Tomas Coronado, said: "There'll be a full
investigation into this matter and we will prosecute whoever's committed
these illegal acts. We have identified 11 Irish couples and are about to
take statements from them.
"Some of them had the babies we've rescued with them, because they
were told that living with them was part of the process they needed to
go through for adoption."
"We've rescued nine babies in total, boys and girls. Two were
removed from one of the women we arrested and another seven from the
custody of foreign couples. They're now in state care. One is two; the
rest are between two and eight months."
The state prosecutor's office said a 21-year-old woman was arrested
after a relative reported that she was "renting out" one of
her children. The woman said she had been paid to give the child to a
group of three women who needed baby pictures for legitimate advertising
Investigators found the other three women were taking the child and
several others to a hotel where Irish couples believed they were going
to adopt them. The Mexican women, all aged in their early 30s, were
subsequently arrested on suspicion of belonging to a child-trafficking
They are also suspected of buying babies off cash-strapped mums-to-be
found through ads in local newspapers. They would then hand them over to
couples who travelled to Mexico to adopt.
The Irish couples were reportedly given the babies at a hotel in
Guadalajara and sent to the nearby town of Ajijic, a popular retirement
destination for Canadian and American expats, to spend a fortnight with
them while the papers were processed.
Officials have not ruled out further arrests.
No formal accusations have been laid against the Irish couples caught up
in the scam.
Investigators say they want to determine if they were duped into
thinking they were taking part in a lawful adoption process.
- Gerard Couzens
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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