Authority advised not to recognise adoptions

The Adoption Authority of Ireland has refused to recognise or register 20 Mexican adoptions here, on foot of advice from Mexican authorities that they contravened the Hague Convention.

The High Court heard that the refusal of the AAI to recognise the adoptions is because the children’s placements do not comply with provisions of Hague Convention on Protection of Children — which became law here when the Adoption Act was ratified on November 1, 2010.

One of the families affected has brought proceedings against the AAI and the State over the refusal to recognise the adoption of their daughter.

However, it has emerged the refusal by the AAI came following a diplomatic note from the Mexican Embassy in June of last year.

“On the basis of a diplomatic note from the Mexican Embassy in June 2012, the authority declined the 20 applications,” said an AAI statement. “Inter alia, the note stated that the Mexican National Central Authority could not issue an Article 23 Certificate under the 1993 Hague Convention [i.e. ‘sign-off’ on the adoptions] because the adoption arrangements infringed the convention.”

The AAI confirmed that 20 adoptions that were carried out from Mexico between Sept 2010 and Sept 2011 have not been recognised here.

The AAI said it raised a number of issues with the Mexican National Central Authority at a meeting between representatives of the AAI and the Mexican State Department that was held in Mexico City in Dec 2011.

At the time of this meeting, the AAI was considering 19 applications for entries in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions. A 20th application was received subsequently.

Since the introduction of the Adoption Act in Nov 2010, the AAI has issued seven advisories to prospective adoptive parents about adopting children from Mexico.

A number of these warned all applications for entry into the RICA had to be accompanied by an Article 23 certificate and that these could only be granted by the National Central Authority in Mexico.

The AAI stated that “any adoptions effected outside these parameters will not be recognised by the AAI”.

It also warned prospective adoptive parents not to enter into any private arrangements with private individuals or private agencies in order to effect an adoption in Mexico.

The couple before the High Court claim that they cannot fully comply with a requirement under the convention to have the adoption recognised because the child was placed with them prior to Ireland’s ratification of the Convention and that the requirement breaches their rights under the Constitution and European Convention for Human Rights.

The couple want the refusal quashed and orders recognising their child as an Irish citizen and them as her adoptive parents.

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