Ahern welcomes court ruling on Tristan

Source: rte

Thursday, 23 February 2006

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Adoption Ireland have welcomed today’s High Court ruling regarding the future well-being of Tristan Dowse, the four-year-old boy returned to an orphanage in Indonesia by his adoptive parents.

Mr Justice John McMenamin ruled that Joe Dowse from Co Wicklow and his Azerbaijani wife, Lala, had breached their constitutional duties and must support Tristan until he is 18.

Minister Dermot Ahern described the ruling as realistic and said his department would maintain contact with the Indonesian authorities to ensure all is well with Tristan.


Tristan was returned to an orphanage in Indonesia when his adoptive parents decided the adoption was not working out, but he is now back with his natural mother.

The court today directed that Tristan should be removed from the Register of Foreign Adoptions that is maintained by the Adoption Board.

The boy retains his Irish citizenship and rights of succession to the estates of his adoptive parents.

The Dowses will also pay an immediate lump sum of €20,000 and a monthly payment of €350 until Tristan reaches 18. 

Half of the monthly payment will go directly to Tristan’s mother, while the remainder will go into a capital account for Tristan’s benefit.

These payments will increase in accordance with the Consumer Price Index. The court has also ordered the payment of an additional lump sum of €25,000 payable when the boy reaches 18 years.

Tristan will also be made a ward of court.

After making his judgment public today, Mr Justice McMenamin said that if there is just one redeeming feature from the evidence, it is the knowledge now available of Tristan’s current well-being and the fact that he has been happily restored to the custody of his natural mother.