Adoption agencies to be struck off for ‘wrongdoing’

By Conall O Fátharta

Friday, May 21, 2010

ANY adoption agency which engages in illegal practices should be de-registered and if necessary the case referred to An Garda Síochána, the chairman of the Adoption Board has said.

The issue of illegal adoptions was raised with Geoffrey Shannon following the Irish Examiner’s investigation into the case of Tressa Reeves, whose son was illegally adopted and falsely registered as the natural child of the adoptive parents. This was facilitated by St Patrick’s Guild adoption agency, which remains fully accredited by the Adoption Board, despite the board being aware of the case since 2001.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time, chairman of the Adoption Board Geoffrey Shannon gave a personal guarantee that any such cases would be investigated and if necessary referred to the relevant authorities.

“I don’t want to become involved in discussing individual cases, but what I am saying is, if anybody has concerns in relation to their individual case, that I am giving a guarantee that their case or cases will be immediately drawn to the attention of the Adoption Board and if there are any concerns emerging from an examination of that case that warrants referral to the gardaí, to the General Register Office or any other statutory body that will happen as a matter of priority,” he said.

Mr Shannon said he would recommend to the Adoption Board to de-register agencies engaged in wrongdoing.

“We will do what we can do within the powers laid down in the Adoption Acts. We will have much greater enhanced powers under the forthcoming adoption legislation and hopefully we will be in a better position to provide answers.

“The board has at its disposal the power to de-register an adoption society… it would be my recommendation to the board where wrongdoing has been found on the part of an adoption society, that the board… de-register the adoption society,” he said.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, May 21, 2010

The issue of illegal adoptions was raised with Geoffrey Shannon following the Irish Examiner’s investigation into the case of Tressa Reeves, whose son was illegally adopted and falsely registered as the natural child of the adoptive parents. This was facilitated by St Patrick’s Guild adoption agency, which remains fully accredited by the Adoption Board, despite the board being aware of the case since 2001.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time, chairman of the Adoption Board Geoffrey Shannon gave a personal guarantee that any such cases would be investigated and if necessary referred to the relevant authorities.

“I don’t want to become involved in discussing individual cases, but what I am saying is, if anybody has concerns in relation to their individual case, that I am giving a guarantee that their case or cases will be immediately drawn to the attention of the Adoption Board and if there are any concerns emerging from an examination of that case that warrants referral to the gardaí, to the General Register Office or any other statutory body that will happen as a matter of priority,” he said.

Mr Shannon said he would recommend to the Adoption Board to de-register agencies engaged in wrongdoing.

“We will do what we can do within the powers laid down in the Adoption Acts. We will have much greater enhanced powers under the forthcoming adoption legislation and hopefully we will be in a better position to provide answers.

“The board has at its disposal the power to de-register an adoption society… it would be my recommendation to the board where wrongdoing has been found on the part of an adoption society, that the board… de-register the adoption society,” he said.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, May 21, 2010