Minister in Russia for talks on adoption agreement
MINISTER for Children Frances Fitzgerald will meet with senior officials in Moscow to advance the possibility of an adoption agreement between Ireland and Russia.
In a move that could give hope to thousands of would-be adoptive couples here, Ms Fitzgerald will meet with Russia's Minister of Education and Science, Dmitry Livanov, and other officials in the Russian Duma.
The "diplomatic discussions" come weeks after Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, signed a law banning US citizens from adopting Russian children.
More than 1,600 Irish-based couples have adopted children from Russia, which is the second largest source country for Irish adopters.
Ms Fitzgerald has travelled to Moscow with Dr Geoffrey Shannon, Chair of the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI).
If they can broker a bilateral agreement, it could provide a welcome boost for many more families wishing to adopt.
The Irish Independent has learnt that a major legal stumbling block is Moscow's insistence that any child adopted by Irish couples would retain their Russian citizenship.
This presents a problem under Irish law as children adopted into a "constitutional family" become Irish children for the purposes of Irish law.
Russia is also insisting on post-placement reports for any child adopted by Irish couples.
Ms Fitzgerald said that her meeting with Mr Livanov will give her an opportunity to clarify the degree to which negotiation of a bilateral agreement can address the concerns of both countries and meet the requirements of our respective legal systems.