21 children were adopted from the Irish foster care system in 2017 – the first year that foster parents were legally allowed to do so.
So far this year, 20 children have been adopted. 92% of children in State care grow up with foster families.
The Irish Foster Care Association has issued a number of recommendations to make the process easier for all parties involved.
These recommendations include allowing children continued access to their birth parents and siblings, if it's in their best interest.
Foster children and their families should have access to conselling and support post adoption and further training should be provided to social workers who are dealing with these types of cases.
CEO of the IFCA Catherine Bond says the best interest of the child is always put first: Essentially what we're looking at is the whole concept of permanency for children. Permanency whereby children have a sense of identity and belonging. Sometime children who are in very long term foster care, they stand between two families and sometimes that's very difficult for them to navigate.