Couples to be given more time for Russian adoptions

Frances Fitzgerald to amend Act so couples have extra year to complete process

Frances Fitzgerald is acting in response to Russian changes to their adoption laws.

Frances Fitzgerald is acting in response to Russian changes to their adoption laws.

Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 01:00

Several Irish couples who feared they would not be able to complete adoptions from Russia are likely to benefit from changes to legislation being planned by the Government next week.

Last July Russian authorities changed their adoption laws, stipulating that children eligible for adoption must stay on a database for 12 months rather than six months. This affected between five and 30 Irish couples who were trying to finalise their adoptions before a legal deadline which expired just over a month ago. However, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald is understood to be planning to amend the Adoption Act which would give these couples an extra year to complete their adoptions.

The move will only affect couples approved to adopt a child from Russia prior to November 2010, when Ireland ratified the Hague Convention. The ratification also meant that children could only be adopted into Ireland from countries that had also signed the convention. Russia has not signed it. As a result, children may only be adopted from there if they received a licence to adopt prior to November 1st, 2010.

It is understood 30 Irish couples hold these licences. These couples were granted extensions to complete their adoptions by October 31st of this year. This deadline is likely to be extended by a further year under legislation changes being planned next week.

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