Intercountry adoption

Regional Intercountry Adoption Assessment Service

The following guidance will hopefully provide you with clear and helpful information to allow you to make an informed decision about progressing with an application with The Regional Intercountry Adoption Assessment Service (RIAAS).

RIAAS is a new regional service that has been established to provide a professionally consistent, specialist team to provide expertise in the preparation, assessment and pre placement reviews of anyone in Northern Ireland wishing to adopt from overseas.

RIASS undertakes intercountry adoption services on behalf of all the 5 Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland. RIAAS’s role is to provide information giving, prepare, assess and review applicants in Northern Ireland who wish to adopt a child through intercountry adoption.

The intercountry adoption ‘journey’ is not one to be taken without a lot of preparation and awareness that it will be both rewarding and life changing. However, applicants also need to be well informed about the eligibility criteria both within our own legislation and that of the country they wish to apply to. There are specific risks associated with applying to adopt from overseas including the potential for long waits for a placement, countries closing their intercountry adoption process, limited information with matching details, the long term impact to children of institutionalisation and the wider society’s acceptance of a child adopted from overseas.

It is the policy in Northern Ireland that potential adopters cannot apply to be considered for children domestically as well as from overseas. There are many children needing adopted here in Northern Ireland and therefore we would greatly encourage everyone to be fully informed about both options before making a final decision. Each of the 5 Trusts have domestic adoption teams which will provide you with details on the ‘Domestic Adoption’ process.

Download ‘The 10 Step Guide to Adopting from Overseas’ for further information.

If having read the following information and you feel you wish to find out more please contact RIAAS at or telephone 02894488285. Alternatively you can enquire online.