Positive step forward for Intercountry Adoption

Fine Gael TD for Dublin North Alan Farrell has today (Thursday) spoken in the Dáil in support of work done by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald TD, along with the Adoption Authority of Ireland in relation to the ratification of the Hague Convention for Intercountry Adoptions.

“The outstanding progress that has been made over the past few months with regard to Intercountry Adoption I believe is a result of the commitment and dedication given by Minister Fitzgerald, along with the on-going work of Adoption Authority of Ireland.

“Two years ago many families had their hopes crushed when the adoption process broke down between Ireland and Vietnam. After all this time waiting in limbo for a solution, they have now learned that Vietnam is now ready to ratify the Hague Convention on February 1st.

“There is still work to be done, however I believe this progress is a result of the dedication of Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald TD. In her first month in office she requested the chairman of the AAI to visit Vietnam with officials and within ten months has, along with the Irish Adoption Authority, brought the situation to a resolution.

“The sad reality is that couples turn to adoption as their last hope to have a family of their own. At this stage, many couples will have already been through years of trauma, coming to terms with the life changing realisation they will not be able to have a biological child of their own.

“Years of hoping and subsequently failing to start a family can take its toll, both emotionally and financially. It can mean that to prospective parents looking to adoption are already in a very vulnerable state. For this reason I believe that it is the responsibility of our adoption officials to assume the highest level of responsibility on their behalf, ensuring that the process is as straightforward and pain free as possible.

“I believe that the best possible way of doing this is through the Hague Convention. However I do welcome the Minister’s proactive yet cautionary negotiations with non Hague ratified countries to open up the process through a bilateral agreement allowed in the Adoption Act. This will allow for greater opportunity for Ireland and these States to ensure that any Intercountry Adoption is controlled and fully in the interest of the child.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the foster families across Ireland who house 95% of 6,000 children who are currently in the care of the state. It takes a genuinely charitable and generous person to open up their home and care for a child, and the service they provide to this state is does not get sufficient public recognition.

I am optimistic that this week’s developments will give hope to those who are undergoing the adoptive process, and that they themselves recognise the importance that a safe and secure method of adoption is in the best interest of the child and the future of their family.”