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    What is Intercountry Adoption

    What is intercountry Information

    Intercountry adoption refers to the situation where persons resident in Ireland decide to adopt a child who is resident in a country other than Ireland. The nature and effect of such an adoption is that the child becomes the child of the adopter as if born to her or him or to them, in the case of a qualified couple with all the rights and duties of parents and children in relation to each other. 

    Intercountry adoption was given a statutory basis in 1991 with the passing of the Adoption Act in that year and the most recent principal legislation in this area which is the Adoption Act 2010.

    In order for an intercountry adoption to be recognised by the Irish State certain procedures must be complied with.  Those procedures are laid down in the Adoption Act 2010 and 1993 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. The Adoption Amendment Act was commenced in October 2017

    The following is a summary of those steps.

    As prospective adoptive parent(s) you must hold a valid Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability. During the assessment process for the Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability you will have made a decision about which country you intend to adopt from. On receipt of your Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability and based on that decision you then must work with the appropriate agency who have been accredited by the Authority to work in that particular country. See Country Information to get the name of the agency you need to contact.

    When the adoption has been effected in the other country and the child has been brought to Ireland, you are required to make an application to have the adoption entered into the Register of Intercountry Adoptions (RICA). This application must be made not later than three months after the child first enters the State after their adoption in the other country.

    The steps in the process 

    Article 2 of the Hague Convention states that the Convention shall apply where a child habitually resident in one Contracting State (in this case a country outside of Ireland) has been, is being, or is to be moved to another Contracting State (Ireland) either after his or her adoption in the State of origin by spouses or a person habitually resident in the receiving State, or for the purposes of such an adoption in the receiving State or in the State of origin. The Convention covers only adoptions which create a permanent parent-child relationship.

    Hague - Habitual Residence

    Under the Convention the following procedures apply –

    The Adoption Authority of Ireland sends an Article 15 which includes and Assessment Report on the prospective adoptive parent(s) to the National Central Authority of the country of origin. This is considered by the National Central Authority NCA in the child’s county of origin.

    If satisfied with the Application the National Central Authority of the country of origin matches the child with prospective adoptive parent(s) and sends an Article 16 Child Study Report to the Adoption Authority of Ireland for consideration. The Article 16 Report includes documents and details of the child’s eligibility, birth circumstances and needs, birth parent counselling and decisions, the matching process with the child at the centre, and the Article 15 papers relevant to the selected prospective adoptive parent(s).

    The Article 16 report is considered by the Adoption Authority of Ireland and if satisfied an Article 17 Child Placement Agreement Notice is sent to the National Central Authority of the country of origin for the child. The Article 17 Notice allows the child to be placed with the prospective adoptive parents.

    The procedure for the granting of the Adoption Order is followed according to the legislation in the country of origin. Following the granting of an Adoption Order the National Central Authority of the country of origin issues an Article 23 Certificate confirming that the adoption has been effected in accordance with the terms and conditions of the 1993 Hague Convention.

    Under Article 22 of the Convention, the functions outlined in Articles 15, 16 and 17 of the Convention may be delegated to approved accredited bodies. See Country Information for details of the approved accredited body for each country.


    Mission Statement

    " To ensure the provision of the highest possible standards of adoption related services, throughout the lifelong adoption process, with the best interests of children as the first and paramount objective."