Applications for assessment for a Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability are made to the Child and Family Agency or accredited body who carry out the assessment of the prospective adoptive parents.
Applicants complete an application form/statutory declaration in which they confirm their identity, marital status, the country from which they intend to adopt (for domestic adoptions this will be Ireland) and their residency. A social worker is assigned to the applicants and carries out their assessment for adoption. When the assessment is complete a Domestic Adoption Assessment Report is written by the Assessing Social Worker. A recommendation is made by the Assessing Social Worker as to whether or not a Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability should be made for the applicants. The recommendation states the specifics of the child or children that the couple are deemed suitable to adopt e.g. age range, health issues. This report is reviewed and signed by the Assessing Social Worker and by his or her Principal Social Worker or Team Leader. The report is forwarded to the Local Adoption Committee who considers the contents of the report and also makes a recommendation – one for each applicant. A copy of the report and the recommendations are sent to the Adoption Authority.
The application form/statutory declaration and the report and recommendations are reviewed by the Adoption Authority to ensure that all the appropriate documents have been submitted, all forms have been completed correctly and all criteria in respect of suitability have been met. Where all documents are in place and are correct and recommendations are positive the Adoption Authority will grant a Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability.
A Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability is granted for a period of 2 years from the date it is issued by the Adoption Authority. The Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability may include in it a statement relating to the age or state of health of a child whom the Authority considers that the applicant or applicants are suited to parent – this is based on information provided in the assessment report.
The original Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability is sent to the applicants and a copy is sent to the Assessing Social worker for their records.
Any question that applicants have about their application should be directed to their assessing social worker.
What happens after a Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability is granted depends on the type of adoption application which is has been made. Applicants who have questions about their application should contact their assessing social worker for information.