Nearly 5,000 children adopted by parents in Ireland since 1991
Largest number have come from Russia, followed by Romania, China and Ethiopia
Since 2010 a total of 707 children have been adopted. File photograph: Getty Images
Almost 5,000 children from 34 countries have been adopted by parents resident in Ireland since 1991, figures published on Wednesday show.
A report from the Adoption Authority of Ireland on inter-country adoptions over the past 29 years shows 4,989 children were adopted from other countries with the majority (4,282) adopted between January 1991 and October 2010. These were recognised by the then adoption board.
Since 2010 a total of 707 children were adopted and recognised by the adoption authority.
While between 1991 and 2010 children were adopted from 33 countries, the number of nationalities from which Irish parents adopted slipped to 23 after the Adoption Act 2010. Irish parents stopped adopting from several countries that year – including Zimbabwe and Paraguay. Among those in which more recent adoptions have been effected are Haiti and Lithuania.
Of the children adopted between 1991 and 2010, the majority (81 per cent) are now aged between 10 years and 16 indicating they were adopted from 2004 on. Some 11 per cent are now aged 29 to 31 years with a large proportion of these adopted from Romania in the early 1990s.
The top five countries from which this earlier cohort came were Russia (1,414), Romania (807), Vietnam (785), China (381) and Ethiopia (197).
The majority of children adopted since 2010 (86 per cent)are now aged between six and 12 years. The top five countries from which the more recent adoptees came were Russia (215), Vietnam (114), Ethiopia (111), the United States (79) and China (49).