When you apply to the Adoption Authority for a Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability you will be required to state from what country you propose to adopt. There are important, interlinked questions to consider before arriving at a decision:
Is the adoption law of the country recognised under Irish law?
Can the adoption be registered when you return home?
A fundamental pre-requisite to the granting of recognition under Irish law of an adoption effected abroad is that the foreign adoption fully complies with the definition of a ‘foreign’ adoption specified in Section 1 of the Adoption Act, 1991. This is a very important definition which you should read carefully before proceeding. A copy of this Section can be found here.
It is the responsibility of the Adoption Authority to decide whether or not the law under which a foreign adoption is effected meets the requirements of Irish law and to thereby determine if the foreign adoption order qualifies for recognition in this country. The Authority discharges this responsibility by examining the adoption law of the country concerned to ascertain if it appears to meet the requirements of Irish law and by obtaining the opinion of the national central authority in the country of origin or a lawyer practising in adoption law in the country concerned as to the nature and effect of an adoption order made in that jurisdiction.
Persons wishing to adopt abroad should check beforehand with the Adoption Authority whether the adoption law of the country where they propose to adopt is compatible with Irish adoption law. Adoptions properly effected in countries whose laws have been found by the Authority to be compatible with Irish adoption law may be entered in the Authority’s Register of Intercountry Adoptions, on application to the Authority. (Terms and conditions apply).
Ensuring the child’s adoption can be registered is another of your responsibilities towards the child you intend to adopt i.e. that they will have secure and equal status with other adoptive children both in terms of their direct relationship with you and, through you, indirectly with the State.
Other Considerations in Country Choice
In choosing a country from which to adopt you may also want to consider the following points.
Currently, the Adoption Authority transmits adoption applications on behalf of persons resident in Ireland to a small number of countries. Information on the procedures agreed between the Board and those countries is available from the Adoption Authority upon request.
In relation to the majority of countries abroad, adoption applications are dealt with by an Irish based accredited body. Further details are available on the Country specific factsheets to be found here.
ICA Statistics 2014-2015