Minister in talks on resuming India adoptions

As part of her trip to India for St Patrick’s Day, Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald is discussing the possibility of restarting adoptions from the country.

Minister in talks on resuming India adoptions

The Department of Children confirmed she has been accompanied on the trip by Adoption Authority (AAI) chairman Geoffrey Shannon, and that the pair are to spend two days assessing the Indian system of adoption.

They are due to meet with Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) — the central authority in India which monitors and regulates in-country and inter-country adoptions. They will also meet with the Indian ministers for youth and women and children.

A spokesman for the Department of Children said the visit was essentially a fact-finding trip to examine the possibility of Irish couples adopting from India in the future.

An AAI delegation last visited India in Jun 2012. A report of that visit has been considered by the authority.

If adoptions are to recommence between India and Ireland, the services of an accredited body will be required.

It is understood that expressions of interest have been sought from the two bodies accredited to date — Helping Hands Adoption Mediation Agency and Arc Adoption.

The AAI has previously stated that adoptions between the two countries is not certain and has advised prospective adoptive parents not to enter into any arrangement with any person or body prior to a decision being made by the authority.

Irish couples have adopted only 28 children from India since 1991.

Last summer Ireland signed a new agreement to allow Irish couples to resume adopting children from Vietnam.

Ireland ceased adopting children from Vietnam after it chose not to resume its bilateral agreement in May 2009 following concerns raised by in Unicef.

The US had suspended adoptions from Vietnam in 2008 after it uncovered evidence of baby selling and “baby farming”.

It is believed Ireland’s decision was influenced by similar concerns.

The AAI also sent a group to Ethiopia and Russia in the past year to examine the possibility of adoptions resuming from those countries also.

Unicef, along with the US state department, recently highlighted concerns about corrupt adoption practices in Ethiopia.

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