The number of foreign adoptions by Irish parents has decreased by 82% in the past eight years.
According to Freedom of Information figures, there were 112 adoptions in Ireland last year.
Thirty-three of the children came from other countries - compared to 188 in 2011.
Speaking on behalf of children's charity Barnardos, Suzanne Connollysaid foreign adoptions could only increase again if new laws were introduced.
She said that measures would need to be negotiated between countries.
"I think what's really important as well in terms of rights of birth parents and the rights of children," she said. "Is that the first port of call is to try and enable for children to stay in their own countries."
"And to see that they can get the support that's needed in order for that to happen," she said.
"If that is not possible then the next option obviously is to ensure that children get a safe and nurturing home abroad," she said.