Thursday, 5 July 2012

Questions (127)

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

127 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will clarify the position whereby the Irish father of a child born here, whose mother holds a passport from another jurisdiction, will restrict the right of the child’s mother to remove the child from this jurisdiction without the father’s consent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32947/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

A child's mother may not remove the child from the State without the consent of the father, if the father is a guardian of the child or has custody rights in respect of the child.

If a person removes a child from the State in breach of another person's custody rights, that other person can make an application under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction to have the child returned to them. The Convention is designed to ensure the prompt return of children who have been wrongfully removed from one contracting state to another, or wrongfully retained in another contracting state. It is based on the principle that the custody of the child should be decided by the courts in the state in which the child habitually resides. The Convention is in force in over 80 countries world-wide. Where a child is removed to or wrongfully retained in another EU state, the Brussels II bis regulation applies, and regulates the application of the Convention between EU member states. There is a network of Central Authorities established under the Convention for the purpose of assisting applicants. My Department operates as the Central Authority for Ireland and can be contacted for assistance at 01/4790200 or by e-mail internationalchildabduction@justice.ie.