Foreign adoptions on the rise again, says report
The United States and Vietnam are emerging as the top countries for Irish people adopting abroad.
The number of Irish who are successfully adopting a child from a foreign country is on the rise again, according to the annual report of the Adoption Authority.
The updated adoption legislation of 2010 led to a slow-down in foreign adoptions as a result of several countries being closed to Irish people.
However, the opening up of Vietnam in particular means that the number of new intercountry adoptions rose to 39 last year compared to just 13 in the years following the new law. The trend is believed to be continuing this year.
Overall, there were 104 children who had been born abroad who were entered into the Irish adoption register last year.
In addition, 57 couples and single people were given a certificate of eligibility to adopt a child in the United States over the year. There were also 10 certificates of eligibility granted for people who want to adopt in Vietnam.
Adoption Authority chairman Geoffrey Shannon and chief executive Patricia Carey visited Vietnam during the year to review Ireland's new bilateral agreement with that country.
The report showed that 112 domestic adoption orders were granted last year and the majority were in stepfamilies. There was a rise in the adoption of children who were in long term foster care - up to 23 from 17.
"The balance of 15 was made up of adoptions within the extended family and adoptions of infants placed for adoption in Ireland," said the report.
The Government last month published the heads of the Information and Tracing Bill which will give stronger rights to adopted children and birth parents to make contact.
The Adoption Authority said it believes its strikes the balance between information about identity and right to privacy. Significantly, the proposed legislation will be retrospective.
In the report, Ms Carey said she strongly encourages birth and natural parents to put their names on the current voluntary contact register. There were around 7,500 adopted people on the register last year compared to 3,400 relatives. Since 2005, more than 670 people have been matched with relatives.
The authority made 12 applications to the High Court last year to allow an adoption application to proceed without consultation with the father.