Adopting from CHINA


Ireland and The Peoples Republic of China are signatories to the 1993 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

Article 2 of the Hague Convention states that the Convention shall apply where a child habitually resident in one Contracting State (e.g. China) has been, is being, or is to be moved to another Contracting State (e.g. Ireland) either after his or her adoption in the State of origin by spouses or a person habitually resident in the receiving State, or for the purposes of such an adoption in the receiving State or in the State of origin. The Convention covers only adoptions which create a permanent parent-child relationship.

Under the Convention the following procedures apply –

The Adoption Authority of Ireland* sends an Article 15 Assessment Report on the prospective adoptive parent(s) to the National Central Authority* of the country of origin.

The National Central Authority of the country of origin* matches the child with prospective adoptive parent(s) and sends an Article 16 Child Study report to the Adoption Authority of Ireland* for consideration.

The Adoption Authority of Ireland*sends an Article 17 Child Placement Agreement Notice to the National Central Authority* of the country of origin for the child to be placed with the prospective adoptive parents.

Following the granting of an Adoption Order the National Central Authority* of the country of origin issues an Article 23 Certificate confirming that the adoption has been effected in accordance with the terms and conditions of the 1993 Hague Convention.

* Under Article 22 of the Convention, the functions outlined in Articles 15, 16 and 17 of the Convention may be delegated to approved Accredited Bodies.

The Adoption Authority of Ireland has delegated the above functions to –

  • Helping Hands Adoption Mediation Agency

Subsequently, the Adoption Authority of Ireland no longer sends Article 15 Assessment Reports to China. They are transmitted through Helping Hands Adoption Mediation Agency. Helping Hands partner in China is the Bridge of Love Adoption Service (BLAS).


  • Common Programme Fee (HHAMA) €9,500
  • In-country Programme Fee Contact HHAMA

Two programmes

There are two adoption programmes in China –

  1. Special Needs
  2. Non-Special Needs

The waiting time for a referral from China’s Special Needs Programme is one year.

General speaking, ‘Special Needs’ is defined as having a physical or mental disability, an older child or a group of siblings. Sometimes, a minor physical disability e.g. a cleft palette) can be improved with corrective surgery.

The waiting time for a referral of a child from China’s Non-Special Needs Programme is currently 9 years. Declarations of Eligibility and Suitability issued by the Adoption Authority of Ireland are valid for two (2) years and may be extended by one (1) year subject to the approval of the Authority.

Profile of prospective adoptive parents acceptable

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or under
  • Single female applicants under 50 years of age
  • Opposite gender married couples, minimum of 2 years married, between 30 and 50 years of age
  • Upper age limit may be extended to 55yrs if adopting a ‘special needs’ child.
  • Certain medical conditions are excluded (Contact HHAMA for details).


The number of children adopted into Ireland from China in recent years is as follows – 

YEAR 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
NUMBER OF CHILDREN 7 15 1 3 1 6 9



Prospective adoptive parents should satisfy themselves that any persons acting on their behalf are duly authorised by the appropriate National Central Authority to carry out the functions for which they are engaged.

Prospective adoptive parents are advised to seek independent legal advice prior to effecting an adoption.

Prospective adoptive parents should not take custody of a child or accept a placement prior to the Adoption Authority of Ireland issuing an Article 17 Placement Agreement Notice.

When a child enters the State for the first time after his or her adoption, the adopters must notify Tusla - The Child and Family Agency and the Adoption Authority of Ireland of the child’s entry as soon as practicable and, in any event, not later than three (3) months after the date of entry. Failure to so notify is a criminal offence.

Not later than three (3) months after the date when a child first enters the State after his or her intercountry adoption in another state, the adopters must apply to the Adoption Authority of Ireland to have the particulars of the adoption entered into the Register of Intercountry Adoptions (RICA). Failure to do so is a criminal offence. Applications for an entry in the RICA must be accompanied by an Article 23 certificate issued by a National Central Authority or by an Accredited Body duly authorised to do so by a National Central Authority.

Any adoptions effected outside these parameters will not be recognised by the AAI.


For further information contact
Adoption Authority of Ireland
Intercountry Adoption Unit
Shelbourne House
Shelbourne Road
Dublin 4
Tel.       +353 (0)1 2309300
Fax.      +353 (0)1 6671438

Helping Hands Adoption Mediation Agency,
The Loft,
The Bessborough Center,

Published: Friday, 08 January 2016 12:36
Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2017 12:51