Up to 1,000 couples may seek to adopt children next year, Dail told
Fewer children available for inter-country adoption, says Minister
Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald: said the number of children available inter-country adoption is far lower than in recent years.
Up to 1,000 couples could be seeking to adopt children next year, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald told the Dáil.
“The reality is that the number of children available for inter-country adoption is far lower than was the case in recent years. In the past, very high numbers of children from Russia and Ethiopia, in particular, were adopted in Ireland.’’
Ms Fitzgerald said the position relating to India, Russia and Vietnam was changing, particularly as they were encouraging their own citizens to adopt children. In the case of some countries where children in institutions might be available for adoption, with Haiti one example, the relevant international agreements were not in place.
“The position is extremely complex and that is why I have been trying to ensure that, if at all possible, we have bilateral agreements in place with countries such as Russia,’’ she added.
“We have signed an agreement with Vietnam and people will be able to adopt from that country towards the end of this month.’’
Ms Fitzgerald said a meeting had been held with the Indian authorities in the interests of ensuring that couples wanting to adopt there would be able to do so.
Another striking aspect of the matter, she said, was that many of the children available for adoption had special needs and prospective Irish adoptive parents must be aware of that.
Fine Gael TD Jim Daly said the adoptive process was extremely challenging for prospective parents and created a significant drain on their resources and strength.
It was an area worthy of much scrutiny and further support by the department.