Eligibilty and Suitability



In order to be eligible to adopt under the Adoption Acts 2010 applicants must fall into one of the following categories:

Married Couple

A married couple living together.

Sole Applicants

The criteria are:

  •  A sole applicant, where the Adoption Authority of Ireland is satisfied that “in the particular circumstances the adoption is desirable and in the best interests of the child”.
  • Children and Family Relationships Act (2015) enables civil partners and cohabiting partners (who have been cohabiting for three years +) to jointly adopt.

In addition you should note the following

  • 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 must have attained the age of 21years.
  • While there is no upper age limit, age and health are important and will be taken into consideration.
  • 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.


In order to be suitable to adopt applicants have to meet the requirements of Section 33 and 34 of Adoption Act and must be:

  1. A suitable person to have parental rights and duties in respect of the child and
  2. Of good moral character, in good health and of an age so that he or she has a reasonable expectation of being capable throughout the child’s childhood of
    1. fulfilling his or her parental duties in respect of the child,
    2. promoting and supporting the child’s development and well being,
    3. safe guarding and supporting the child’s welfare,
    4. providing the necessary health, social, educational and other interventions for the child and
    5. valuing and supporting the child’s need in relation to his or her identity and ethnic, religious and cultural background.
  3. Have adequate financial means to support the child and
  4. Have been provided with appropriate information, advice and counselling concerning adoption.
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