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You are now able to renew your membership online with your credit or Laser card.

Simply click below to enter your contact details and follow the instructions on screen. Read more....


The Adoption Process

What you need to know

IAA are committed to providing information and support to families who are engaged in intercountry adoption. This page is being updated, and will provide initial answers to some frequently asked questions. Read more....


Adoption Process

Introduction to Intercountry Adoption


This guide is intended for people interested in intercountry adoption, who are resident in Ireland.  Irish residents who wish to adopt a child abroad are required to have their eligibility and suitability established by the Child and Family Agency or by an accredited assessment agency prior to adopting.


The eligibility criteria for adoption are provided for under the Adoption Act 2010.  In order to be eligible to adopt you must fall into one of the following categories:

  • You are a married couple living together. This is the only circumstance where the law permits the adoption of a child by more than one person;


  • You are a married person living alone. In this circumstance the spouse’s consent to the adoption must be obtained, unless they are living apart and are separated under (i) a court decree, (ii) a deed of separation, (iii) the spouse has deserted the prospective adopter or (iv) conduct on the part of the spouse results in the prospective adopter,with just cause, leaving the spouse and living apart;


  • You are the mother, father or a relative of the child (relative meaning a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt of the child and/or the spouse of any such person, the relationship to the child being traced through the mother or the father);


  • You are a widow/widower;


  • You are a sole applicant not covered in any of the categories above and the Adoption Authority is satisfied that, in the particular circumstances of the case, it is desirable to grant an adoption order.

There is also a minimum age limit for adoption. You must be at least 21 years of age if the child is not a relative. If the child is to be adopted by the natural father or mother, or a relative of the child, only one of you must have attained the age of 21.

Currently there is NO UPPER AGE LIMIT in Irish statute in relation to intercountry adoption, nor is one applied by the Adoption Authority in relation to the decision to issue a Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability (“Declaration”).

As regards residency, you must be ordinarily resident in the State and must have resided in the State for at least one year before the date of the making of the Adoption Order.


Suitability assessments may only be carried out by your local office of the Child and Family Agency (formerly the HSE) or by any accredited assessment agency nominated by CFA.  However ALL applications for assessment must, in the first instance be made to the CFA.

The 5 Standards

In assessing your suitability regard shall be had to the following standards:

  • The capacity to safeguard the child throughout his or her childhood;


  • The capacity to provide the child with family life that will promote his or her development and well being and have due regard to the physical, emotional, social, health, educational, cultural, spiritual and other dimensions. The resources that families can draw on will vary from family to family and may change over time. Whatever circumstances the family find themselves in, the applicant/s will be able to demonstrate their understanding of the importance of maintaining an on-going and meaningful relationship with their child;


  • The capacity to provide an environment where the child’s original nationality, race, culture, language and religion will be valued and appropriately promoted throughout childhood. This will include the capacity of the parent/s to recognise the differences between themselves and their child within these areas and to recognise and try to combat racism and other institutional and personal oppressive forces within society;


  • The capacity to recognise and understand the impact of being an adopted child from an overseas country on the development of the child’s identity throughout their childhood and beyond;


  • The capacity to recognise the need for and to arrange for appropriate support and intervention from health, social services, educational, and other services throughout childhood.



Applications must be made to your local Child and Family Agency Office.

Upcoming Events

Annual Conference – 8th November 2014Read more....

Hold the Date – 8th November – IAA Annual Conference, Carlton Hotel, Dublin Keynote speakers to be announced as confirmed.

24th August 2014, Summer Picnic and Family Fun DayRead more....

Event: Summer Picnic and Family Fun Day (weather permitting) Time: 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.. Venue:  Newbridge House and Farm Share your picnic, play some games and then visit the farm if we have enough for a group booking.  No charge to attend picnic.  Each family pays for farm admission.  Email the office to register […]

2014 Upcoming EventsRead more....

June 19 -  Dental Care for the Adopted Child August  24-  Summer Picnic and Family Fun Day October 24 -  Medical Aspects of Intercountry Adoption November 8  -   IAA Annual Conference ***  The calendar of events for 2014 is updated as events are scheduled.  Please check back regularly for updates.  Events are open to non-members but at an […]


News RSS Feed

AAI Notice – Adoption from India – 14 July 2014Read more....

The Adoption Authority has been informed that Helping Hands Adoption Mediation Agency (HHAMA) has been accredited to work in India by CARA, the Indian National Central Authority. Accreditation is for facilitating the adoption of children under CARA’s ‘Special Needs Programme’.   Full notice may be read here: The Adoption Authority of Ireland will continue to […]

James Reilly T.D. now Minister for Children and Youth Affairs – 11 July 2014Read more....

After a cabinet re-schuffle James Reilly T.D. has replaced Charlie Flanagan T.D. as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (a two month post).

AAI issues Statistics 1st Half 2014 – July 2014Read more....

The Adoption Authority of Ireland has issued statistics for January to June 2014.  Please click here to read the Notice.  

IAA presents in front of Joint Committee of Health and Children 26.06.2014Read more....

Click here for the Webcast of the hearing of the Committee: Click here to view the IAA’s submission:

IAA participates in Primetime 29.05.14Read more....

The topic of intercountry adoption was discussed on Primetime on 29th May.  Click here to view

IAA Welcomes new Minister for Children and Youth AffairsRead more....

The IAA congratulates Charlie Flanagan on his new appointment as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and looks forward to meeting with the Minister imminently to discuss matters of concern for our Community.  The IAA wishes Frances Fitzgerald well in her new role as Minister for Justice and Equality.

AAI Notice, Russian Federation, 15th April 2014Read more....

Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) proposing to adopt in the Russian Federation are reminded that Declarations of Eligibility and Suitability issued pursuant to Section 63A of the Adoption Act 2010 (as amended) are only valid until 31 October 2014. The Authority estimated that approximately 23 couples/individuals would be entitled to avail of the amendment but only […]

AAI Notice – Stats 1st Quarter 2014Read more....

Declarations Granted (ICA) 31 Declaration Average Processing Time 4 weeks Extensions Granted (ICA) 23 Article 17 Agreements issued 2 Entries in the RICA** (IRL) 7 Entries in the RICA** (Non-IRL Res) 15 ICA Applicants Average Age (M) 43 yrs ICA Applicants Average Age (F) 43 yrs *National Adoption Contact Preference Register **Register of Intercountry Adoptions […]

AAI Notice – USA, 31st March 2014Read more....

Advisory Notice of 25 April 2013 also refers) Prospective adoptive parents proposing to adopt from the USA are advised that Child Reports, referred to the AAI by US Adoption Service Providers (ASP) pursuant to Article 16 of the 1993 Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption will be considered by […]

AAI NOTICE – THAILAND, 12th March 2014Read more....

  The Adoption Authority of Ireland has been informed by the Thai Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW) that presently the number of children who are available for adoption is still less than the number of adoption applications submitted to Thailand. There are approx. 243 foreign adoption applications in the waiting list of the […]

AAI NOTICE, the Philippines, 12th March 2014Read more....

Correspondence from the Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB), 13th January 2014 – ‘The ICAB reviewed the policy on the conditional moratorium and has made its projected/allocation for this year. The basis for the 2014 allocation are the actual number of children cleared for intercountry adoption for 2013, number of approved prospective adoptive parents and child placement. […]

11.03.14 Media StatementRead more....

The IAA fully supports Ireland’s implementation of the Hague Convention  and all the protection it affords to children and we recognise that adoption is a service for children and not for prospective adoptive parents. We understand that Ireland is in a transition period since the enactment and support the Adoption Authority of Irelands (AAI) practice […]

AAI NOTICE – INDIA – 4th March 2014Read more....

The Adoption Authority of Ireland decided on 12 June 2012, pursuant to Sections 126 and 127 of the Adoption Act 2010, to grant accreditation to Helping Hands Adoption Mediation Agency, to carry out the activities outlined in Section 4 (a,b,c,d) of the Adoption Act 2010. On 28 February 2014, pursuant to Article 22 of the […]

AAI Notice – Helping Hands Adoption Mediation Agency, Common & Miscell Programme FeeRead more....

Common Fees Pursuant to Section 6(6) of Statutory Instrument 524 of 2010, Adoption Act 2010 (Accredited Bodies) Regulations 2010, the Adoption Authority of Ireland has approved the following Common Programme Fee for adoptions facilitated by Helping Hands Adoption Mediation Agency. The Common Programme Fee applies to the Irish costs for intercountry adoption and is additional […]

AAI Notice, India, 11th February 2014Read more....

On 1 July 2011, the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) was notified by the Indian National Central Authority (NCA) – known as CARA,that CARA would not be accepting dossiers from Irish applicants either until 30 September 2011 or until further notice. There has been no change to this position for ‘normal category’ cases. CARA will […]