Agreement paves way for Irish adoptions from Philippines

Children's Minister Dr Katherine Zappone
Children’s Minister Dr Katherine Zappone

An agreement allowing Irish people to adopt children from the Philippines has come into effect.

An administrative agreement on intercountry adoption was signed by the the Adoption Authority of Ireland and the Philippines Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB) yesterday, setting out how intercountry adoption will operate between the two authorities.

Both countries have ratified the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption.

The Convention provides an assurance for individual children, their families, and the State that appropriate procedures have been followed and the adoption was affected in the best interests of the child.

Children’s Minister Dr Katherine Zappone said: “My aim is to have safe and secure adoptions.

“It is against this background that my Department is working to create the appropriate legislative, policy and administrative frameworks which will ensure a well regulated regime of adoption.

“This Administrative Agreement will provide a clear road map as to how the intercountry adoption process will operate between Ireland and the Philippines.”

Tanya Ward, chief executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance
Tanya Ward, chief executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance

Tanya Ward, chief executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said the agreement is “a welcome and positive development in the best interests of children”.

Ms Ward explained: “The Hague Convention aims to protect children and their families against the risks of illegal, irregular, premature or ill-prepared adoptions abroad.

“Hague-compliant countries are required to build up their domestic child protection, care and adoption infrastructures, with intercountry adoption as a measure of last resort.

“Consequently the number of children placed for intercountry adoption is very low once Hague comes into force.

“Non-Hague compliant countries – many of which are developing countries – often have large numbers of children for adoption but very weak child protection systems.”