To reform the Intercountry Adoption process so waiting children can be matched with waiting families
• Believe that adoption is about finding homes for children rather than finding children for homes and that every child has the right to a loving family home.
• Believe that every step should be taken to ensure adoptions are ethical, are in the best interests of the children involved, and with full respect for these childrens’ fundamental rights at every stage of the process. No child should remain in an institution as a result of slow and ineffective procedures.
• Fully support the principles of the Hague Convention and wish to see these principles truly and honestly followed in all aspects of inter-country adoption in Ireland.
• Would like to thank the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs for the personal time and effort she has given to Inter-country Adoption since her appointment.
• Appreciate the Adoption Authorities mandate and efforts to ensure ethical and safe inter country adoption practices.
• At the same time we must express our complete anger and frustration with a system that simply doesn't work (only 11 post-Hague adoptions in 3.5 years). It fails both children and prospective parents. Children spend far longer than necessary in institutions and those who are fortunate enough to become adoptive parents arrive to parenthood emotionally exhausted by the process.
We urge the Minister for Children and the Adoption Authority of Ireland to:
• As a matter of urgency take action to ensure that applications to adopt are transmitted to India, Mexico, the USA, Thailand and the Philippines. The lack of clarity and/or a smooth handover from the Adoption Authority to Accredited Adoption Mediation Agencies in Ireland is simply not justifiable given the amount of time that has now lapsed since Hague was ratified.
• Ensure that Declarations for Eligibility and Suitability to adopt have a lifespan of five years.
• Honour the spirit of the Hague Convention by making serious efforts to work with Ethiopia, with whom Ireland has many and long-standing relations, and to complete the bi-lateral agreement with Russia, in order to facilitate children there in need of homes to join families in Ireland.
• Ensure that expeditious action is taken by all state agencies (TUSLA and the Adoption Authority of Ireland) at all stages of the adoption process. Such state agencies should use procedures designed to fulfill the purposes of the Convention but which do not cause delays that could affect the health and well being of children.
• To ensure the TUSLA “Information meeting” which all applicants must attend is more informative on all avenues people may pursue in order to provide a home to a child in need, to include domestic fostering (long and short term), fostering-to-adopt, domestic and inter-country adoption. Such meetings should include the opportunity to speak directly with parents who have pursued each avenue.