Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Report into death and injury of adopted Romanian babies demands urgent action

4 September, 2003


Sinn Féin Upper Bann Representative Dr Dara O'Hagan has welcomed the publication of the independent report into the death of a Romanian baby and serious injury of his twin brother after they were adopted and called for urgent action to tackle the weaknesses in child protection and adoption regulations identified by the report.

Dr O'Hagan said:

"This report into this dreadful catalogue of events highlights serious weaknesses in monitoring, child protection and adoption regulations.

"The report highlights lack of communication, lack of team work and basic weak management in the Craigavon and Banbridge Community HSS Trust and the South Health Board.

"Since this incident there has been some progress with the introduction of the Inter-county Adoption Bill that will improve the protection of children adopted from countries such as Romanian by the former Minister for Health Bairbre de Brún.

"It makes specific provisions to regulate inter-county adoption and bring us in line with European standards and the 1993 Hague Convention which set out the minimum standards for the adoption process to operate in the best interests of the child. In this case neither the Board nor Trust properly monitored the inter-county adoption process or the well being of these Romanian twins after their arrival here.

"Urgent action is required to tackle these weaknesses in child protection and the implementation of adoption regulations that have been identified by this report. Fundamentally the failure of different parts of the Health and Social Services in the Craigavon Banbridge area to communicate effectively with each other must be addressed." ENDS

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