Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Ceisteanna (114)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

114. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs his plans to progress any new bilateral agreements on inter-country adoptions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21046/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Under the Adoption Act, 2010, adoptions may take place with countries who are party to the Hague Convention or following the negotiation of a bilateral agreement with non-Hague countries.

Efforts are ongoing in my Department in relation to a bilateral agreement on intercountry adoption between Ireland and the Russian Federation. A delegation of Russian officials travelled to Ireland in October 2013 for further discussions on a bilateral agreement on intercountry adoption between Ireland and the Russian Federation. The meeting was very positive and detailed discussions took place between the Russian officials and officials from my Department, the Adoption Authority of Ireland, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Health Service Executive. My Department prepared revised draft wording on a number of specific points which were forwarded to the Russian Authorities in February of this year. In transmitting these revisions it was suggested that should these revisions be acceptable to the Russian Federation, it would be useful for both sides to meet again for further discussions.

The Ministry of Education and Science have advised the Irish Embassy in Moscow that all proposed adoption agreements are currently on hold while the Russian Government considers proposals in relation to how they deal with adoption agreements in general. The Embassy has been informed that the Russian Government is still considering the matter, following a decision on this they will be in a position to examine the Irish proposals.

The Adoption Authority delegation visit to Ethiopia in April of 2012 was an initial part of the Authority's deliberations on the feasibility and suitability of entering into discussions with Ethiopia on a bilateral adoption agreement. The Authority has also sought and received advice on the legal compatibility of Irish adoption law with that of Ethiopia. The Authority's legal advisors have considered this advice and certain clarifications are being sought. The Authority is also trying to establish the position of the Ministry of Women's Affairs in Ethiopia with regard to the desire of the Ethiopian authorities to entering into talks in relation to a bilateral agreement with Ireland. The Authority will advise me of the position when all the information is available. It is not possible to provide a timeframe for when the Authority's deliberations will be finished.