Written Answers. - Adoption Legislation.

Noel Ahern


73 Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Health the plans, if any, he has to amend adoption legislation to allow for adoption of Chinese babies; if the legislation will also allow for adoption of Paraguayan children; if he will list the other incompatible countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8911/96]

,Limerick East): The Government has authorised the drafting of a new Adoption Bill to provide, among other matters, for certain amendments of the Adoption Act, 1991, which contains the current statutory provisions relating to the recognition of foreign adoptions. A primary objective of the proposed amendments will be to facilitate the recognition under Irish law of adoptions effected in countries, such as the People's Republic of China, whose laws permit the termination of adoptions in certain circumstances.

As regards adoptions effected in Paraguay, I understand that the adoption laws of that country provide for two forms of adoption — plenary adoption and ordinary adoption. The former has a similar legal effect to an Irish adoption and as such qualifies for recognition under present legislation. However, an ordinary adoption effected in Paraguay is not entitled to recognition here because the legal effect is significantly different from that of an Irish adoption order in relation to the termination and creation of parental rights and duties. The question of whether such adoptions could be brought within the scope of the proposed extended recognition system raises complex questions which are currently being examined. I have sought legal advice in the matter.
I understand that the Adoption Board, which has a central role in the administration of the Adoption Act, 1991 has compiled a list of countries whose adoption laws it has examined for the purposes of establishing whether adoptions effected under those laws qualify for recognition under the legislation. I am arranging for a copy of that list to be sent to the Deputy.