Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Children Robert Troy has called on the Government to do more to support parents who are attempting to adopt a child from Russia. Deputy Troy made the comments after raising the issue in the Dáil with Minister for Children James Reilly.

Efforts have been ongoing for a number of years to secure a bilateral agreement between Ireland and Russia to facilitate inter-country adoptions between the two countries.

Deputy Troy commented, “There are thousands of children in Russia who would greatly benefit from a second chance in life. There are a great number of couples in Ireland who are interested in adopting children from Russia in order to provide them with a loving home. Unfortunately as it stands they cannot adopt a child from Russia due to legal difficulties.

“Officials in the Irish Government have been negotiating with their Russian counterparts in order to create the necessary legal framework to allow inter-country adoptions. However these negotiations have been dragging on for years and there is no end in sight. Meanwhile many couples who are ready to adopt are finding that as the years pass their eligibility to adopt is slipping away.

“This is deeply saddening when you consider that these couples are ready and willing to provide vulnerable Russian children, many of them orphans, with a second chance in life. The only thing that is stopping them from doing so is the complex legal issues that need to be resolved at Government level. They are being left in limbo as these negotiations continue.

“I raised this with Minister Reilly in the Dáil this week and highlighted the need to bring these negotiations to a conclusion. The Russian Irish Adoption Group has met with both the Irish and Russian embassies on a number of occasions to discuss the negotiations, but what appears to be lacking in driving this forward is political will. Minister Reilly would not even confirm if he would meet with the relevant stakeholders over the coming weeks to push forward the negotiations and facilitate an agreement with Russia.

“At the very least Minister Reilly should indicate if the negotiations are likely to be successful, or if agreement is still a long way off. This will allow people to plan their lives accordingly” said Deputy Troy.