There is only one authority in Ireland who can approve international adoptions and where those adoptions take place. That is the “Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI)“. Below is their most recent notice with any real information, in the previous notice they advised against signing any new agreements in Florida (that was dated Sep 13, 2011) because they wouldn’t get the consideration or approval needed for “Article 17”.
NOTICE- FLORIDA- 20 OCTOBER 2011 (excerpt scroll down linked page to get to this notice)
In this regard, there are a number of critical and crucial aspects of routine adoption practice and procedure within the State of Florida which need to be examined by the Adoption Authority. It is noteworthy that these aspects appear to be common to virtually all inter-country adoptions by Irish adopters from that jurisdiction.
Following a request to the US Central Authority a delegation from the Adoption Authority will be travelling to the United States at the earliest possible date to meet with the Florida authorities and with the US State Department in Washington.
The matters in question are briefly:-
1. Birth mother consents – the circumstances around and situations within which, and the legal parameters governing, the securing of legal consent from natural birth mothers to the adoption.
2. ‘Subsidiarity’- an underlying tenet of best international practice within inter-country adoption holds that the option of intercountry adoption should be examined only after all other precedent options for the suitable care of the child within his/her country of birth have been examined and evaluated e.g. foster care with relatives or with strangers, domestic adoption by relatives or strangers in the country of origin etc.
3. Monetary consideration – it is a core tenet of Irish law and practice, and of Hague, that only reasonable levels of professional legal fees etc and provision of justifiable levels of reimbursement of expenses may be permitted.
4. Matching – the concept of professionally supervised and mediated matching is a core, fundamental and essential aspect of the Hague Convention. This requires that each child available for adoption should be carefully matched by qualified social care professionals with a suitable prospective adoptive parent(s) through the joint collaboration of the two ‘National Central Authorities’ of the respective ‘sending’ and ‘receiving’ countries, or in the alternative, through the joint collaboration of two registered and accredited adoption mediation agencies, one in each of the respective countries, either working with each other directly or through the medium of the NCAs.
5. Birth father notification and consultation.
This was the last notice that on the “Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI)” site other than we are still working on it type notices, i.e. no outcome of the trip or whether or not families from Ireland could adopt from Florida.
In November 2011 this article came out in the Irish Examiner: Adoption practises – Children are not sale items which covers the concerns the “Adoption Authority Ireland (AAI)” has in the above notice regarding Florida.
This NEW article making the rounds from the Irish Herald: Couples flock to Florida in adoption rush appears to just be more a less just fluff designed to look official. Look closely – bolding mine…
The International Adoption Association (IAA) said the proven track record of “transparent and ethical” processes in Florida has made the state a popular choice for couples.
A spokeswoman said: “There are many reasons for this but primarily because other families have effected legal and transparent adoptions from this state and the children are very young when placed for adoption.”
It is easier to travel back and forth to Florida from Ireland than the west coast of the US, she pointed out.
There is also an agency in the state which works with Irish parents and in which the applicants have confidence.
The “International Adoption Association (IAA)” sounds so official doesn’t it – it’s JUST a support group kind of similar to JCICS or NFCA…just that – nothing more – read who they are here. Of course they are going to say that the adoptions have a proven track record and transparent etc…
The “Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI)“ has not changed its position since the September 13, 2011 Notice (see link at top of post) that stopped any new agreements by PAPs with either agency or birth parents in Florida.
2. All other prospective adoptive parents who propose to adopt from Florida should not enter into any arrangements with adoption agencies or individual birth families until further advice has been provided by the Authority. Prospective adoptive parents who proceed after the posting of this notice will not have an application for an Article 17 considered until the Authority has clarified the matter further.
Nor has the AAI publicly stated that they feel any different from the notice published on their site in October 2011 in regards to concerns that Florida may not meet Hague requirements (birth parent relinquishment time line, first option is home or care within country first, expenses, fees, birth father notice and consultation) – if they had, it would be on the government site “Adoption Authority Ireland (AAI)“.
Remember that Ireland exported babies to the US during the BSE and the US has been a sending and receiving country for a long time although most seem to go to Canada.