Dáil Éireann - Volume 642 - 04 December, 2007

Written Answers. - Adoption Services.

Deputy Edward O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will investigate the matter of adoption for persons (details supplied) in County Cork. [31987/07]

  Deputy Brendan Smith: Adoption in Ireland is regulated by the Adoption Board, which is an independent, statutory body. On foot of the Deputy’s question, a report was sought from the Adoption Board on this matter, and the information supplied is as follows.

“The Adoption Board, as a quasi-judicial body, is not generally in a position to comment on individual cases currently before the Board for consideration and adjudication. The Board can, however, confirm that it is carrying out an examination of the adoption laws of Ethiopia to determine, inter alia, if they meet the legal requirements set out in the 1991 Adoption Act for the recognition of adoptions from abroad. This examination has raised certain legal issues related to the compatibility of Ethiopian adoption law with Irish law. In the circumstances, and in order to protect the adoption process, the Board has decided as a precautionary measure, to suspend the granting of Declarations of Eligibility and Suitability to adopt abroad in respect of Ethiopia until the above investigations are complete. The Board has continued to accept applications for an [2016] entry in the Register of Foreign Adoptions, but a final decision on these applications cannot be taken until the Board’s review is completed. The Board issued a Circular in this regard in October 2007, and is dealing with this issue as a matter of priority. The Adoption Board can also confirm that the Ethiopian authorities advised the Irish Embassy in Ethiopia on 21st November, 2007, that Ethiopia has stopped the processing of Irish adoption applications pending the outcome of the Adoption Board’s review.”

I have requested the Adoption Board to keep me updated on the progress of the review, and I am satisfied that the Board’s decision is an appropriate one in the circumstances.