From an Irish newspaper today:
Russia’s Ambassador to Ireland has warned that an adoption agreement between both countries may be in jeopardy because of an Irish government investigation of stolen passports.I'm not really surprised to see international adoption as a tool of diplomacy, are you? Certainly we've seen arguments that international adoption is a positive element in diplomatic relations between countries, with adoptees spoken about as "bridges" between the two countries. Some have argued that the State Department, which is the Central Authority for purposes of the Hague Convention, is reluctant to investigate charges of corruption in international adoption for fear of jeopardizing diplomatic relationships with important allies or trading partners (hint, hint, how much money do we owe China?!). So yes, international adoption will always be a diplomatic football.
The stolen Irish passports were later used to set up fake identies for an “Irish” couple living in New Jersey and spying on Americans. The couple were arrested by the FBI who informed the Irish government of the theft.
Ambassador Mikhail Timoshkin raised the concerns after a meeting with Debbie Deegan, director of Irish charity To Russia With Love. Deegan had revealed that a passport of a member of her organization had been stolen and used by Russian agents.