Question to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Ms. Frances Fitzgerald, TD)
For ORAL ANSWER on 16/04/2013
To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will report on her visit to India; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer T.D.
On March 14th I lead a delegation to India which included Dr G Shannon, Chair of the Adoption Authority of Ireland and a Departmental Official. The visit, which was in conjunction with representing the Irish Government at official functions in India for St Patrick’s Day, afforded me the opportunity to assess the position in relation to inter country adoption in India.
During the visit myself and members of the delegation, accompanied by the Irish Ambassador to India, spoke with senior Ministers from the Indian Government with responsibility for child welfare, including adoption, and with Government officials and agencies involved in areas related to child welfare. These included a very constructive meeting Dr Pati, head of the Indian state adoption agency, CARA. I visited the Palna Orphanage from which a number of Indian children have been adopted by Irish families.
These meetings afforded me the opportunity to clarify issues in relation to inter country adoption between Ireland and India and the requirements of the Indian authorities in that regard. I was advised that, while India has placed a moritorium on standard inter country adoption, registration is now open with CARA for special needs cases; this includes children with intellectual or physical disabilities, siblings including twins, and over 5s. The issue of the Indian authorities acceptance of an Irish accredited agency was also discussed and the Indian authorities were positively disposed in this matter. It was explained that Indian currently operates inter country adoption with other Hague countries without the need for any specific administrative agreements of the type envisaged in Article 72 of the Adoption Act 2010.
My engagement with the officials in India gave me an insight into the changing patterns in inter country adoption especially in relation to the rise in domestic adoption and the efforts being made by the Indian authorities to develop and maintain adoption procedures in the Indian sub continent.
I intend to meet with the Indian Adoption Group shortly to update them on my visit.