A welcome and positive development in the best interest of children: that’s the Children’s Rights Alliance response to Ireland’s agreement on inter-country adoption with the Philippines.
Chief executive Tanya Ward said the importance of adoption agreements, such as the process signed in Dublin yesterday between Ireland and the Philippines, could not be overstated.
“Given the sums of money involved, inter-country adoption can encourage malpractice and corruption, with children and prospective adoptive parents at risk of being exploited for financial gain,” she said.
“Children have been denied the right to grow up with their parents and families because of child trafficking, abduction, and through the deception of birth parents.”
The Children’s Rights Alliance represents a group of organisations working to ensure the rights of all children and young people in Ireland are respected.
Ms Ward said Ireland and the Philippines had ratified the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption and it clearly outlined how the adoption process would operate between the countries.
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone said the convention provided an assurance for children, their families and the state that appropriate procedures had been followed and that the adoption was in the best interests of the child.
“My aim is to have safe and secure adoptions. It is against this background that my department is working to create the appropriate legislation, policy and administrative frameworks which will ensure a well-regulated regime of adoption,” said Ms Zappone.
She believed the agreement between the Adoption Authority of Ireland and the Philippines Inter-country Adoption Board would provide a clear road map on how the inter-country adoption process would operate between Ireland and the Philippines.
The agreement on administrative arrangements between the two countries was drafted by the chair of the Adoption Authority of Ireland, Dr Geoffrey Shannon, who said it reflected the legal diversity and common goals of the contracting states.
There have been 10 children adopted from the Philippines since the establishment of the Adoption Authority in 2010.
The administrative agreement between Ireland and the Philippines is the third to be concluded by the authority. In 2012, an administrative arrangement was reached between Ireland and Vietnam and that was followed by one between Ireland and the US in 2013.
Speaking on RTÉ radio, Dr Shannon, said the central authority in the sending country, in this case the Philippines, would consider what set of parents best met the needs of the child being adopted. “So you have the professional matching of a child with suitable adoptive parents,” he said.
There were 82 inter-country adoptions to Ireland last year. Families here have adopted children from Bulgaria, China, Thailand, India, Poland, and Lithuania. Inter-country adoptions can take place between countries that have ratified the Hague Convention or with which Ireland has a bilateral agreement.
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