Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (214)

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

217 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the progress made to date regarding the signing of a bilateral agreement between Russia and Ireland to enable adoptions from Russia to recommence; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34054/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs)

Adoptions from Russia, effected under the transitional arrangements provided for in the Adoption Act 2010, are ongoing and are currently being examined, and recognised, by the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI). Under the provisions of the legislation, such adoptions may take place up to the end of October 2013.

As regards adoptions thereafter, Russia has not ratified the Hague Convention and there appears to be no immediate prospect that this will happen. Therefore, future adoptions from Russia, beyond those provided for under the transitional arrangements, may only be possible under a bilateral agreement. The negotiation of bilateral agreements on inter-country adoption with states who have not ratified the Hague Convention is governed by Section 73 of the Adoption Act 2010. Any bilateral arrangements which might be entered into would be required by law to meet the minimum standards set out in the Hague Convention.

It is the role of the Adoption Authority to make an assessment of whether the inter-country adoption legislation and practices in a non-contracting state, in this case Russia, are in compliance with both Irish legislation and the principles of the Hague Convention.As part of this assessment the Adoption Authority has reviewed a draft bilateral agreement presented to it during previous discussions with its Russian counterparts and has provided me with an initial assessment in this regard. As a result of this, the issues which may require further exploration with the Russian authorities have been considered. I have recently asked the Adoption Authority to engage further with the Russian authorities on issues raised in their report to me.