Dáil Éireann - Volume 492 - 16 June, 1998
Written Answers. - Foreign Adoptions.
Mr. Lawlor Mr. Lawlor
201. Mr. Lawlor asked the Minister for Health and Children if consideration will be given to the provision of emergency funding to enable the Eastern Health Board to expedite the assessment of prospective adoptive parents who wish to adopt abroad and who face a waiting list delay of 18 months or more as outlined in correspondence (details supplied). [14105/98]
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
230. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Health and Children the measures, if any, he intends to introduce to address the difficulties with regard to adoption, particularly in the Eastern Health Board area. [14360/98]
Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. Fahey) Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. Fahey)
 Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. Fahey): I propose to take Questions Nos. 201 and 230 together.
I am keeping in touch with the Eastern Health Board on this issue on an ongoing basis. I am pleased to advise Deputy Lawlor that the most recent report received from the board, dated only last week, states that contrary to the claims being made by a number of adoption support groups, the current waiting period for applicants is now down to 12 months. Based on inquiries made by the board, the assessment procedure takes no longer than it does in other boards. However, as in the case referred to by the Deputy, the Eastern Health Board does require couples to participate in a group preparatory course which has proved to be hugely beneficial to all concerned and indeed other health boards are now considering incorporating the course in their assessment procedures.
With regard to additional resources, three additional social workers have been assigned to the boards inter-country adoption team which now consists of nine posts. This is the only team of its kind in the country, exclusively dedicated to inter-country adoption.
Dáil Éireann 492 Written Answers. Foreign Adoptions.