Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Intercountry Adoption

Intercountry adoption is where a child living outside Ireland is adopted and brought to live in Ireland. People resident in Ireland who wish to adopt abroad are required to have their eligibility and suitability assessed based on the Standardized Framework for Intercountry Adoption Assessment before they travel abroad, if their adoption order is to be recognised under Irish Law.

Intercountry adoption started late in Ireland, relative to other Western countries. In the late 1980s media attention was focused on the plight of children in orphanages in Romania. This led to an unprecedented number of Irish couples going to Romania to arrange the adoption of a child. Since then more and more Irish couples have been turning to intercountry adoption as an option and many foreign children have been adopted by Irish couples under Adoption Laws both here and abroad.

From 1991 to 2002, 1,766 children have been adopted abroad. The majority of these children have Romanian origins. Recently countries such as Russia, Guatemala, China, Thailand, Belarus and India have become more "popular" countries of origin.

Social changes in Ireland in the 1980s led to the introduction of Foreign Adoption Acts 1991-1998

The Chld and Family Agency Intercountry Adoption service carries out assessments based on the Standardized Framework for Intercountry Adoption Assesment where clients must meet the Five Standards on behalf of the Adoption Authroity of Ireland.  The service works closely with the Adoption Authority of Ireland.

The Adoption Authority of Ireland is the statutory body whose committee ultimately determines the suitability and eligibility of prospective adopters, based on the recommendation of the social worker’s final report. The Adoption Authority of Ireland also regulates inter-country agreements and determines which countries’ children are legally recognised for adoption by Irish parents. For more information on the role of the Adoption Authority of Ireland and the countries currently open for intercountry adoption see www.aai.gov.ie or www.iaaireland.org

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