Irish Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald is due in the U.S. on Tuesday to sign an agreement that will make inter-country adoptions between Ireland and the U.S. easier and quicker for couples.
The pact comes after a lengthy talks period between adoption agencies in the U.S. and the Irish government, according to The Sunday Business Post, which also reported that Florida is expected to be the state that Irish couples adopt from most – though the deal covers all 50 states and will also allow Americans to adopt in Ireland.
The Irish government recently signed a bilateral deal with Vietnam to officially open the adoption process between the two countries, and a delegation from Russia is expected in Ireland next month to discuss a similar arrangement.
Russia and Vietnam are particularly difficult countries for Irish couples to adopt from due to terms contained in the Hague Convention, so formal bilateral deals between the governments are necessary to open the process up.
“Clearly we recognize that the inter-country adoption situation is very important for people,” Fitzgerald said.
“I’m trying to open up options for couples who really want to adopt. I recognize there are traumas as a result of the delays.”
Irish couples are increasingly turning to surrogacy as an option, reports the Business Post, though the government has provided €500,000 to Irish adoption agencies to facilitate their work.