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Minister Fitzgerald welcomes conclusion of inter-country adoption operating arrangements with the United States of America

Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

Frances Fitzgerald, TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, has today welcomed the conclusion of inter-country adoption operating arrangements between Ireland and the United States of America.

The Adoption Authority of Ireland, led by its Chairman Dr. Geoffrey Shannon has been working in recent months to bring greater clarity to the situation regarding the adoption of children from the United States. The operating arrangements, concluded today under the umbrella of the 1993 Hague Convention, symbolises the excellent cooperation between the two countries in the area of adoption.

The formalities surrounding the operating arrangements were concluded at a meeting in the US Department of State in Washington today attended by Minister Fitzgerald, Dr. Shannon and the new Irish Ambassador to the United States Ms Anne Anderson. The meeting followed the exchange of a diplomatic note between the two countries.

Minister Fitzgerald stated:  “Inter-country adoption has undergone a period of significant transition following the Hague Convention with the situation for families seeking to adopt having changed dramatically. Since I took office, I have worked closely with the Adoption Authority to ensure that inter-country adoptions can once again take place effectively between Ireland and other countries.”

The Minister added that “the US Department of State has shown a significant level of commitment to the process of developing new operating arrangement between Ireland and the United States, demonstrated also by the degree of goodwill they have shown to my officials and I.”

“I welcome the arrangements concluded today as an important step in ensuring that inter-country adoptions can take place effectively between Ireland and the US.”

Dr. Shannon stated: “The operating arrangements reflects the legal diversity and common goals of the two countries. It will provide a clear road map as to how the inter-country adoption process will operate between Ireland and the United States of America.  This arrangement is a significant development in that it embodies a consensus on the rules applying to child adoption between the two countries.”

The arrangements set out in detail how inter-country adoption will operate between the Adoption Authority of Ireland and the Department of State.  The arrangement focuses on the issue of consent but also covers other issues such as the level of costs, observance of the principle of “subsidiarity”, birth father notification and the “matching” process which applies in the US. 

This arrangement will provide a clear road map as to how the inter-country adoption process will operate between Ireland and the US.  It is a significant development as it is the second agreement entered into by the Authority with another Hague country, following agreement being reached with Vietnam earlier this year.


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