General Legal Advice on Adoption:
AAdoption is on a statutory basis pursuant to the provisions of the Adoption Act 2010. For eligibility, a child (between six weeks and 18 years) must be an orphan, ‘illegitimate’ (until Constitutional amendment is enacted) or abandoned. The father’s consent is required in respect of a non-marital child. Reduced availability has increased demand for the adoption of overseas children. The child must come within the jurisdiction of the courts and it must be demonstrated that the order, if granted, would be compatible with the principle of the ‘welfare of the child as the first and paramount consideration’.
What is the legal position in relation to adoption in Ireland?
APursuant to section 3(1) of the Adoption Act 2010, the law now states that a ‘parent’, in relation to a child, ‘means the mother or father or both of the child, whether or not they are married to each other’. Section 3(2) of the 2010 Act makes it clear that references to ‘adopters’in that Act shall ‘include references to an adopter’. As such adoption by a single applicant is now permitted and is for the first time provided for on a statutory basis. Adoption is not available to same-sex and/or cohabiting couples other than on a sole applicant basis. The prospective adopters are assessed by the Health Service Executive as to their eligibility and suitability. Statutory conditions relating to residence, marriage, religion and minimum age must be satisfied if adopters are to satisfy the eligibility criteria. Neither Irish domicile or nationality is required. Other conditions relating to factors such as maximum age, quality of and lifestyle must also be met by the adopters.
Is adoption available to individuals, cohabiting couples (both heterosexual and same-sex)?