Clarity is urgently required for prospective adoptive parents

Thursday 23rd February 2012

Clarity required for inter country adoption applicant

New legislation continues to stall the process for prospective adopters

While commending the proactive work and commitment of the Minister for Children and her Department in recognising the issues around inter-country adoption I took the opportunity in the Dail debate this week to highlight the need that exists now for clear information and adequate resourcing for the Adoption Authority in order carry out its role in overseeing adoptions.

The long delays in this process are well-known. The reduction in numbers of children being adopted into Ireland has reduced dramatically since the commencement of the Adoption Act 2010. People have been patient but there is now a need to provide information which will allow informed decisions.

Regarding Vietnam, I have asked the Minister to advise how many applications remain outstanding from previously; a timeline on the establishment of administrative arrangements with the Vietnamese authorities and confirmation on how many accredited agencies are envisaged.

I have asked the Minister also to indicate when the next steps can be taken in relation to setting up a Bi-lateral agreement following the visit of the Irish delegation to Russia in December 2011.

I have taken this opportunity to ask the Minister if she is satisfied that there are adequate resources in the Adoption Authority as this is a critical time in the context of the recent legislation.

In the interest of allowing more informed decision-making, I have also requested information on the level of engagement the Adoption Authority has had with various countries in terms of setting up agreements.

The benefits to the child as well as the benefits to families and society as a whole from adoption are without question. It is unfair to deny access to opportunities for a better life for the children who are available to be adopted as it is likewise unfair to deny those willing to adopt the opportunity to do so.

The delay in making countries available for applicants is in effect having this very impact and I will continue to work with the Minister to highlight and alleviate the difficulties and obstacles in this process.