Wednesday, 20 October 2004

Questions (89, 90)

Gay Mitchell

Question:

189 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the number of post placement adoption reports that were not provided in time to the authorities in Belarus; if her Department’s attention is drawn to the fact that they have now suspended adoptions to Irish persons until these reports are completed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25875/04]

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Paul Kehoe

Question:

200 Mr. Kehoe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the efforts she has made to liaise with the Adoption Board and Belarus to ensure that it reopens to foreign adoptions and that responsibilities which Ireland may have in relation to adoption in Belarus, especially post placement reports, are effectively implemented to assist persons (details supplied) in County Wexford. [25611/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 189 and 200 together.

Arrangements with the central authorities of other countries are primarily a matter for the Adoption Board. I have been informed by the board that the adoption centre in Belarus has confirmed that intercountry adoptions to all countries have been suspended by the Belarussian Government, pending a review of intercountry adoption laws, procedures and practices in Belarus. This suspension also applies to adoption applications already in Belarus.

I have also been advised by the Adoption Board that the board is in routine contact with the adoption authorities in Belarus to ensure that we are in full conformity with their intercountry adoption requirements at all times. The board regularly monitors and follows up on any outstanding post placement reports. Post placement reports from Ireland were not a factor in the decision to suspend adoptions.

The adoption centre in Belarus is awaiting further clarification from the Belarussian Government as to the scope of the internal review of intercountry adoption that is to be carried out. The board will remain in close contact with the adoption centre as regards developments.