State to repay clients of failed overseas adoption agency

Seventy people who sought to adopt children through Arc Adoption owed €2,750

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone announced in 2016 that Arc Adoption had run into cash flow problems. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

The Government has agreed to establish a scheme to repay former clients of an adoption agency which closed in 2015 due to cash flow problems.

Arc Adoption facilitated 13 adoptions after receiving accreditation in 2011, and was licensed to assist people in Ireland seeking to adopt from China, Bulgaria and the US.

A total of 70 people had paid refundable deposits at the time of the organisation’s closure. The Government previously took legal advice on the issue and decided that it would not provide funding to repay the €2,750 registration fee owed to the clients.

However, the Cabinet agreed on Wednesday that the fees should be refunded at a total cost of €192,500.


Minister for Children Katherine Zappone announced in 2016 that the agency had run into cash flow problems. The funds to repay its clients will come from her department’s resources.

The 70 people eligible for a payment were identified on an anonymised basis by a statement of accounts provided by the liquidator of Arc Adoption to the Department of Children. These people were then confirmed by the Adoption Authority as having contracted the services of Arc between 2011 and 2014.

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times