retention of a child Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

If the conditions in a foster child's family of origin do not improve within a reasonable period of time according to the assessment of the Youth Welfare Office, the child is placed in a foster family on a permanent basis. If the natural parents do not agree with this decision, the family court can order the child to remain in the foster family.


In order to be able to file an application with the family court for the retention of a foster child in the foster family, there must be an effective request for return by the parents of the child or by someone who has the right to determine the child's residence. In order for an order to remain to be issued, the court shall, in accordance with § 1632.4 of the Civil Code, also examine the following requirements:

  • If the child has been living "for a long time" in family care - the criterion "for a long time" is an undefined legal concept which is not applied equally to every family. The assessment depends on the individual circumstances and the age of the child.
  • Is the physical, mental or emotional welfare of the child endangered by the removal?


In addition to the application for the child to remain in the foster family, an urgent application can also be made for the "issue of a provisional order of stay".

  • § 1632 Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch
  • Carers must apply to the family court for the child to remain in the foster family. The family court in whose district the child's centre of life is located has jurisdiction.
  • In addition, the court must also act ex officio, so that the Youth Welfare Office can also file a corresponding application.
  • Pending the conclusion of the proceedings, the court may issue a temporary injunction, according to which the foster child remains with the foster family until the decision is made.
  • Foster children from the age of 14 must always be heard by the court in proceedings concerning the care of persons or property. A child under the age of 14 is heard if his or her inclinations, attachments or will are important for the decision or if it appears necessary to establish the facts of the case.
  • The judicial decision is in any case based on the "principle of the best interests of the child".

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