Vietnam is top country for foreign adoptions

Vietnam is the top country for people from Ireland who are adopting a child from abroad.

There were 20 adoptions registered from Vietnam here last year, according to the annual report of the Adoption Authority.

This is followed by Thailand, from where eight children were adopted, and the United States, which accounted for seven adoptions to Ireland.

There were four children adopted here from China and one from Bulgaria.

Overall there were just 41 inter-country adoptions last year, which is down from 82 in 2015.

The report said that some 72 adoption orders were granted for domestic adoptions in 2018.

And the majority were in step families.

The updated adoption legislation of 2010 led to a slow-down in the number of foreign adoptions as a result of several countries being closed off to Irish people.

However, the opening up of Vietnam in particular means that the number of new inter-country 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.

Ireland now has adoption agreements with Bulgaria, China, Haiti, India, the Philippines, Poland, Thailand, the US and Vietnam.

The number of adoption orders made in respect of children who had been in long-term foster care in Ireland increased to 25 in 2018, from 21 in 2017.

Children who are available for adoption abroad now tend to be older.

Many also have special needs.

Since 1991 there have been 1,608 children adopted here from Russia and 880 from Vietnam.

Another 786 were adopted from Romania and 425 from China.

Hundreds of children were also adopted from Ethiopia, Belarus, Thailand and the Ukraine, according to figures in the report.

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