Published on 10 January 2019

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall has welcomed the government’s decision to establish a scheme to repay clients who lost money following the closure of an adoption agency in 2015.

The scheme is being set up following extensive discussions between the Ombudsman, the Adoption Authority of Ireland, and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

The discussions followed a complaint to the Ombudsman from a couple who had paid Arc Adoption Ltd over €12,000 to adopt a child from Bulgaria.  The adoption was carried out under the Adoption Act 2010 and Arc Adoption limited was accredited by the Adoption Authority of Ireland.  The fee included a refundable registration fee of €2,750.  The couple never received the refund after they withdrew from the adoption process.  There were nearly 70 other clients who were similarly affected when the agency went into liquidation. 

The Ombudsman said:

“Adopting a child can be a difficult and stressful process for many couples. In 70 cases the process was made even more stressful when clients lost out on a refund of fees to which they were entitled.  I am pleased that the government and Minister Zappone has now agreed to establish this scheme and that the people affected will now receive what is due to them.”

The Ombudsman understands that those affected will be contacted and invited to apply to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs for payment.