Adoption deal for Irish couples not on cards
Published 28/01/2010 | 05:00
IRISH couples wishing to adopt one of the thousands of orphaned children in Haiti after the devastating earthquake will not be allowed do so for now.
Children's Minister Barry Andrews said last night he had no plans to negotiate a bilateral adoption agreement with the Haitian government.
"Haiti is currently not a signatory of the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption," he said.
"Adoptions from Haiti, carried out in accordance with the law of Haiti, do not currently qualify for an entry in the Register of Foreign Adoptions."
In a parliamentary response to Fine Gael TD Olivia Mitchell, the minister also said he was conscious of the statement issued by the International Social Service on January 18 in the wake of the earthquake.
It said: "In general, international adoption should not take place in a situation of war or natural disaster, given that these events make it impossible to verify the personal and family situation of children."
The statement also warns: "Any operation to adopt children that are victims of the earthquake to another country must be absolutely avoided."
In addition, Save the Children, World Vision and the Red Cross called for a moratorium on new adoptions until efforts have been made to reunite children with their families.
Mr Andrews recently announced that negotiations on a new adoption agreement with Vietnam would be halted despite hundreds of Irish couples being passed as fit to adopt a child there.
The couples now find themselves in limbo until Vietnam has ratified the Hague Convention.
The minister added that future inter-country adoption arrangements would be governed by the terms of the Adoption Bill 2009 when enacted.