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Ireland family in court to get recognition for adoption

Authority refusing to recognise adoptions of Mexican-born children, court hears

The refusal arises because the children’s placements do not comply with provisions of the international agreement on inter-country adoptions – the Hague Convention on Protection of Children – which became law here when the Adoption Act was formally ratified on November 1st, 2010.

One of the families affected, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has brought proceedings against the Adoption Authority and the State over the refusal to recognise the adoption of their daughter.

They claim 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. They claim that requirement breaches their rights under the Constitution and European Convention for Human Rights. They want the refusal quashed and orders recognising their child as an Irish citizen and them as her adoptive parents.

They claim provisions of the 2010 Adoption Act dealing with recognition and registration of foreign adoptions here are incompatible with their constitutional rights.

The couple adopted a Mexican girl shortly after her birth in July 2010 and their valid adoption was eventually effected by a Mexican court in March 2011. They applied to the Adoption Authority to have the adoption recognised but, after protracted correspondence, it said it did not have statutory power to recognise or register it.

As a result their child cannot get a passport or be recognised as an Irish citizen and they are not recognised as her guardians.

They claim, prior to the placement, they were in contact with the Authority but it failed to inform them in an effective manner about the impact the change in Irish law.

In an affidavit, one of the parents said the authority will not recognise a total of 19 adoptions by Irish families from Mexico. Permission to bring the action was granted, on an ex-parte basis, by Mr Justice Michael Peart.


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