Adopting a child is a wonderful experience, but there are legal issues to consider. These can be simplified if you have a skilled solicitor on your side. To adopt a child in Ireland, you must meet certain criteria. You will be assessed by an accredited adoption agency or Tusla social worker via several interviews and home visits. Issues they will review include your previous and/or current relationships, motives for adopting, and your ability to help a child to develop his/her knowledge and understanding of his/her natural background. You will also be examined medically. The social worker’s report goes to the local adoption committee and a recommendation is made before the Adoption Authority of Ireland decides whether to approve your eligibility and suitability.

The authority grants a declaration for a period of two years, which may be extended for an extra year if your circumstances do not change.

Adoption is the legal process of establishing a parent/child relationship between people who are not related by birth. It is a complex and lengthy process that requires expert advice and guidance to make it as smooth and stress-free as possible.  The Health Service Executive (HSE) assesses people hoping to adopt for their eligibility and suitability. Factors assessed include conditions relating to residence, marriage, religion, and age.

You may seek an adoption order for a child whose:

  • parents are dead
  • parents were not married to each other when they were born or conceived
  • parents married after their birth, but whose birth was not re-registered under the Legitimacy Act, 1931
  • parents have abandoned them (according to High Court proceedings)

You may adopt if you are:

  • A married couple residing together
  • The child’s natural mother or father
  • The child’s relative
  • Widowed
  • Legally separated
  • Single

Note: An adoption order will not be made unless the child’s mother or guardian or any person who has control over the child consents to the making of an adoption order.