Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has signed into law a number of changes to the adoption law.
Some of the most wide-ranging include civil partners and co-habiting couples being able to jointly adopt a child for the first time.
Other changes allow an older child to give their views on being adopted to a court or the Adoption Authority, as part of the process.
Minister Zappone said: “I am very pleased to have signed the Commencement Order for the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017.
“Adoption is a hugely significant event in the life of a child. As Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, I am conscious of the importance of providing for an adoption process that is fully inclusive of everyone involved and where children’s best interests are always at the heart of decisions involving them.”