RFEN Adoption

This content is provided for information purposes only and is not legal advice. If you are unsure as to the legal status or benefit of any actions or have a complex situation that is not addressed here, please contact a Solicitor if you have access to one or contact FLAC www.flac.ie who may be able to assist you. Information last updated July 2020.


What is the current Legal Position in Ireland?

Adoption in Ireland is governed by the Adoption Act 2010 which was most recently amended in 2017. This legislation allows for adoption as a direct pathway to parenthood for LGBTQ+ people as individuals or couples but it also allows recognition of foreign adoptions in Ireland.

The legislation does provide for second parent adoption i.e. where one parent has a biological link to the child and the second parent is their spouse, civil partner or partner however it is understood that in that absence of legal recognition of same sex couples as parents generally, this process has not been readily accessible to families who have used Donor or Surrogate Assisted Reproduction particularly foreign surrogacies. 

For general information on the adoption process in Ireland please see the Adoption Authority website accessible here: https://www.aai.gov.ie/en/who-we-are/domestic-adoption.html

What can we do going forward?

RFEN is committed to campaigning for fully inclusive Assisted Human Reproduction legislation that would ensure that intending parents are not required to adopt their children through second parent adoption but can instead obtain recognition through a simplified process. 

In the absence of direct legal recognition at present, some families may choose to consider obtaining guardianship for the second parent as a means to protect the family relationship.