Placing a Child for Adoption

What effect will the adoption order have?

In giving a child up for adoption and consenting to this process in writing, a parent or parents relinquish all legal rights and responsibilities in respect of the child.

How does a parent place a child for adoption?

A parent should firstly contact their local adoption services in the Child and Family Agency/accredited body or speak to a duty social worker in the Adoption Authority at 01-2309306.

Who needs to give consent?

  • The biological mother and/or any other guardian(s).
  • The biological father if he is a guardian of the child through marriage, agreement or court order. Automatic guardianship rights are now afforded to the unmarried father who has lived with the child’s mother for 12 consecutive months (since 18 January 2016 – the commencement date of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015), including at least 3 months after the birth of the child. For further information on the guardianship rights of unmarried fathers, click here.
  • If the biological father is not a guardian, the biological mother does not require his consent but if he is available to do so, he is entitled to be consulted by the Child and Family Agency.

How does consent work?

Consent must be given at two stages: firstly, consent to placement for adoption and secondly, consent to the adoption order. The parent giving the consent may change his/her mind and withdraw consent any time up until consent is given to the making of the adoption order.

Consent can only be validly given after counselling has been received and it must reflect a free and informed choice. The social worker involved in the case must be satisfied that the implications of the decision are fully understood.

The Adoption Authority of Ireland website provides further information on the issue of consent and the role of the each of the parents of the child.

Birth fathers who wish to object

A father not married to the mother of his child can require the Adoption Authority to put him on notice of any application or the placing of their child for adoption, upon completing and submitting the appropriate form.

Further Information 

See the Citizens Information website for accessible information on the adoption process, including consent and consultation.


Organisation Telephone Email Website Address

Adoption Authority of Ireland

(01) 230 9300 Adoption Authority of Ireland, Shelbourne House, Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Child and Family Agency - Tusla (01) 635 2854 Child and Family Agency, Block D, Park Gate Business Centre, Parkgate Street, Dublin

International Adoption Association (Ireland)

(01) 499 2206 International Adoption Association (Ireland), Terenure Enterprise Centre, 17 Rathfarnham Road, Terenure, Dublin 6W

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF