Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Adopting an Infant


Adopting an Infant

The term domestic infant adoption refers to the adoption of a child habitually resident in Ireland, who is eligible for adoption as per the Adoption Act 2010 as amended, by a person/s over the age of 21 years habitually resident in Ireland, who have met the standards of eligibility and suitability as per Sections 33/34 of the Adoption Act 2010 and are seeking to adopt an infant placed for adoption by their birth parent/s.

It is the only type of domestic adoption where there is no pre-existing relationship between the child and their adoptive parent/s if a child where to become available to adopt and where matched with the applicant

Legal framework

The Adoption Act 2010 gives all applicants who wish to adopt the right to an assessment. Once an application is made applicants must establish their Eligibility and Suitability to Adopt under Section 33 and Section 34 of the Adoption Act 2010. Applicants must be over the age of 21 and habitually resident in the state The Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017 amended the categories of those eligible to adopt, the following may make an application:

  1. sole applicants
  2. applicants who are married to each other,
  3. applicants who are civil partners of each other,
  4. applicants who are a cohabiting couple,

Section 34 sets out the criteria for an applicant’s suitability. This section was also amended by the Adoption Amendment Act 2017 to substitute a married couple with the applicants mentioned above.

The Assessment Process

  • Stage One: Information meeting
  • Stage Two: Application form and “pack”
  • Stage Three: Initial Assessment
  • Stage Four: Adoption workshop/preparation course
  • Stage Five: Final assessment and report
  • Stage Six: Presentation to the Adoption Committee
  • Stage Seven: Decision of the Adoption Authority of Ireland
  • Stage Eight: Registration with an adoption mediation agency or registration on the National Domestic Adoption Database

Note: It is not possible for applicants to choose both intercountry and domestic adoption, one country must be decided upon. Many applicants may have decided on the country during the adoption workshop prior to the assessment commencing. Some applicants may remain unsure of the best decision to make, and the assessment will assist them in making a final decision. Each applicant must have a decision made for the assessment to conclude and a final report to be written.


Generally, it can be expected that any assessment is likely to take up a minimum of two years to complete to get a declaration. If a child is placed with an applicant, the process can take longer before the child is adopted.

Granting an Adoption Order

While many applicants are granted a Declaration to adoption, they may not get matched with a child. In event that they are successfully matched with a child, these matching having been conducted by the Tusla and approved by the Adoption Authority. The order can be granted by the Authority once it is satisfied that the provision of the Adoption Act 2010 have been met.

WEBSITE BY CREATIVE INC & Kooba Web Design Dublin