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Sunday 25 February 2018

'It's a rollercoaster, but worth it in end'

Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

DEIRDRE (not her real name) is among 200 Irish people, desperate to adopt a child, who are under huge strain because Russia is still closed off to them.

They have been given clearance to adopt a child abroad but cannot proceed until delicate, top-level negotiations to secure a new agreement with Russia are concluded.

Her decision to remain anonymous reflects the fear of families who are desperate to adopt that any criticism of delays by authorities here will cause them even more problems.

She has already adopted a daughter from Russia, in 2008, but it is now no longer among the list of eligible countries. The only alternative is securing a bilateral agreement with Ireland, but progress is painfully slow.

"A delegation from Russia was due here this week but it has been postponed because the attorney general has not yet finalised legal advice," she said.

The stumbling block is the insistence by Russia that it receive post-placement reports on all children adopted from there.

Some parents have refused to do so in the past and the State cannot force them to give the reports.

"The attorney general is looking at how a solution can be found to this," she added.

All of the couples declared fit to adopt will have undergone years of waiting and assessment by social services in the HSE.

"It is a rollercoaster and just when you think everything is done, something else comes from left field," said Deirdre.

"If someone knew what was ahead they might never do it.

"But all the heartache is worth it when it works out. We just hope an agreement can be sorted out soon," she added.

Irish Independent

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