Couple In Adoption Challenge To Go To Ethiopia

A couple who had claimed the Adoption Board was preventing them from adopting a child from Ethiopia, will travel to that country tomorrow to attempt to collect their daughter.

The couple took the decision after the High Court ruled they were entitled to adopt from Ethiopia and there was nothing to stop them going there.

The couple had been advised by the Adoption Board not to travel.

The Board told the court last week a question had arisen about the compatibility of Ethiopian adoption law with Irish law and they could not guarantee that children adopted in Ethiopia could be registered as Irish citizens until the Board got further information.

Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan ruled the court could not interfere with the way the Adoption Board exercised its powers.

But he awarded damages to the parents. He said they had been given no warning that the Board was conducting a review of the legal system in Ethiopia.

That review took a long time, he said, and the couple had acted  on assurances from the Adoption Board.

The amount of damages will be decided at a hearing in February.

The legal battle over the registration of the couple’s child on the Register of Foreign Adoptions may continue when they return from Ethiopia.

The couple is also understood to be concerned, that the Irish Embassy in Ethiopia may not issue a letter of introduction to the local Ministry of Children because of the Adoption Board’s concerns about the compatibility of Ethiopian law.