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Rights to adoption capable of arising where child was born after commencement of new legislation

By: Mark Tottenham BL

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Supreme Court dismisses appeal from High Court, in a case concerning intra-country adoptions of children born in Mexico, where the law changed at the time of the relevant adoptions, and affirms determination that if pre-existing rights to adoption were capable of arising under the old law, and such rights were capable of surviving the enactment of the new legislation, then such rights were capable of arising where the child was born after the commencement of the new legislation, on the grounds that all persons were entitled under the Constitution to equality before the law.

O'Donnell J (nem diss): Intercountry adoptions - Adoption Act 2010 - Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (“the Hague Convention”) - children born in Mexico - recognition of intercountry adoptions - process to be followed - application for assessment of assessment of elilibibility and suitability for adoption in 2006 - declaration granted in 2010 - adoption of baby in Mexico - passport issued in Mexico - immigration clearance to Ireland - change of law - other child adopted in Mexico in 2011 - couples unable to prove compliance with Hague Convention - unable to have Mexican adoptions recognised in Ireland - children aged about 9 years old - confusion as to competent central authority in Mexico - alleged violation of rules and procedures - procedural errors - whether pre-existing rights to adoption that survived the Act of 2010 were capable of arising where the minor was born after the commencement of the Act - whether Adoption Authority entitled to proceed if pre-existing rights were not capable of arising - whether Child and Family Agency entitled to insist on confirmation that a child was eligible for adoption before carrying out an assessment - s. 27(1)(c) of the Interpretation Act - provisions for transitional cases.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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