Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Inter country Adoption


What is Inter-country Adoption

Intercountry adoption refers to the adoption of a child habitually resident in a state other than Ireland 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.

Legal Framework

The Adoption Act 2010 ratified the 1993 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption. The Adoption Authority of Ireland will only issue Declarations for and recognise adoptions from countries who are signatories to The Hague Convention.

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 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

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 adoption process is likely to take up a minimum of two years to complete.

Granting the order

While many applicants are granted a Declaration to adoption, they may not get a referral of a child. In event that they are successfully matched with a child, these matching having ben conducted by the child country of origin then and order can be granted.

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