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I want to adopt a child. What procedure do I have to follow?

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If you want to adopt a child in Ireland, you will need to make an application to the Adoption Board.  The first step is to get an application form, known as Form 1, from the Adoption Board. Fill in the form, including copies of relevant documentation, which may include the child’s birth certificate (if it’s a family adoption) and Baptismal Certificate, your marriage certificate, both of your birth certificates, and your contact details, including directions to your home.
 
Since the adoption board is mainly concerned with the welfare of the adopted child, the process is then quite lengthy. A representative from the Adoption Board will contact you, and set up several meetings, which will usually take place in your home. During these meetings, they will assess your situation and the suitability of the environment for a child.
 
The adoption board will usually also speak to the birth mother of the child, and, unless there are exceptional circumstances, to the birth father.
The adoption process can be quite long, from the initial application until the day that you are officially named the adopted child’s parents, although most family adoptions take under a year.
 
Since the process is designed to ensure that the best interests of the child are served, however, the process and those involved should be treated with patience.
 
(This information applies to adoptions within the Republic of Ireland).
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