Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Robert Troy has said Minister Fitzgerald has failed to indicate if she intends to change legislation to help a number of families who have encountered problem with Russian adoptions.

Deputy Troy commented: “There is huge uncertainty facing these families at the moment.  They have been under the impression that a change would be needed in legislation before October 31st for them to be able to proceed with these adoptions.  However the Minister has indicated that it might be possible to amend the legislation retrospectively.  This would mean that action by October 31st would not be as crucial as previously thought.

“Minister Fitzgerald needs to confirm whether or not the Government has a sound legal basis for believing it can change the legislation after October 31st and if so whether or not she intends to do this.  Up to now the Minister has been vague in responses.

“The foreign adoptions for these families were thrown into chaos as a result of changes made by the Russians authorities in July without any warning.  We’re talking about a very small number of cases here but very sensitive cases that require a compassionate response from the Government.

“I have consistently raised this with Minister Fitzgerald and with the Taoiseach in the Dáil but there is still no clarity for the families involved.

“Minister Fitzgerald has had plenty of opportunity to meet the families involved, to understand the sensitivity and timing involved here and take the appropriate action.  If the Minister has confirmation from the Attorney General that legislation can be amended and applied retrospectively she must give a firm commitment now that she will do this and ease the anxiety of the families.”