Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency


What is adoption?

Domestic Adoption means the transfer on a permanent basis of parental rights and duties for children of from birth parents to adoptive parents. Adoption is therefore a permanent legal relationship between the adoptive parents and the child. The child has the same legal rights as if they were born in the adoptive family.

Only Adoption Societies and the Child and Family Agency are legally entitled to place children for adoption.

If you want to adopt a child, whether in Ireland or abroad, the first step is to contact the Child and Family Agency who may forward the application for assessment to an  accredited assessment agency.  Applicants may identify to the Child and Family Agency which accredited agency they wish to conduct their assessment.  

Applicants being considered by an adoption agency will undergo a detailed assessment. This assessment takes place over a period of time, ranging from 9 to 15 months, sometimes longer. The purpose of this assessment is to establish applicants' suitability as prospective adoptive parents. The assessment is carried out by a social worker. It includes a number of interviews and home visits. Where the application is from a married couple, there will be both individual and joint interviews. The social worker will discuss such areas as previous and/or current relationships, motives for adopting, expectations of the child and the ability to help a child to develop his/her knowledge and understanding of his/her natural background. All applicants are required to undergo a medical examination. If planning to adopt abroad, the assessment will include issues surrounding the child's cultural background and possible special needs.

Click here for contact details for your local Child and Family Agency Adoption service.

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