Couples who lost money after adoption agency closed to be reimbursed

It followed a complaint from a couple who paid over €12,000

Couples who lost money after adoption agency closed to be reimbursed

File photo dated of a mother holding the hand of a new baby | Image: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Government is to establish a scheme to repay clients who lost money, following the closure of an adoption agency in 2015.

It followed a complaint to the Ombudsman from a couple who 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 was accredited by the Adoption Authority of Ireland.

The money included a refundable registration fee of €2,750.

But 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.

Arrangements for the scheme followed extensive discussions between the Ombudsman, the Adoption Authority of Ireland and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall has welcomed the Government's decision.

He 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."

It is understood those affected will be contacted and invited to apply to the Department of Children for payment.