New research has shown that 80% of all children adopted into Ireland over the past three decades have come from just five countries.
In the first of a series of short research reports, the Adoption Authority of Ireland analysed the 4,989 intercountry adoptions that were approved between January 1991 and September 2019.
It found that between January 1991 and October 2010, there were 4,282 intercountry adoptions from 33 countries, with 83% of these children coming from five countries: Russia, Romania, Vietnam, China and Ethiopia. Children born in Russia accounted for 1,414 adoptions in this period.
Then between November 2010 and September last year there were 707 intercountry adoptions from 23 countries, and 80% of those children came from just five countries: Russia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, USA and China.
Adoptions since 2010 have taken place under new legislation and highlight a decline in the number of intercountry adoptions.
As for the age profile of the children, 81% of all children adopted in the period between 1991 and 2010 are currently aged between 10 and 16, while 11% of all individuals adopted as children in this period are now aged 29 to 31, largely driven by the high number of infants adopted from Romania in the early 1990s.
The vast majority of those adopted since 2010 are aged between six and 12.
According to the report, there has been "a marked decline in the numbers of children being adopted from other countries by parents habitually resident in Ireland".
Dr Geoffrey Shannon, chairman of the Adoption Authority, said:
“This is important and detailed research, showing the history of intercountry adoption in Ireland for almost 30 years, and will inform further research by the Authority.”