Adoption of a foreign child, conversion of a weak into a strong adoption

A so-called weak adoption of a child carried out abroad can be converted into a so-called strong adoption by decision of the family court.

Upon request, the family court can convert a so-called weak adoption into a so-called strong adoption.

  • Notarized application for conversion of adoption
  • foreign adoption certificate.

Note: In most cases, foreign documents with over-certification are necessary:

  • by the competent foreign authority (apostille) or
  • Legalization by the German mission abroad.

none

Preconditions

You have adopted a child abroad.

The court pronounces the adoption with strong effect if:

  • this serves the best interests of the child,
  • the necessary consents to an acceptance with an effect terminating the parent-child relationship have been granted, and
  • do not conflict with the overriding interests of the husband, wife or children of the adoptee or adopted child

Related Links

  • §§ 97 et seq. Act on Proceedings in Family Matters and in Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction (FamFG)
  • § 3 Adoption Effects Act (AdWirkG)
  • § 5 Adoption Effects Act (AdWirkG)

You must submit a notarized application for conversion to the competent local court. The court examines the application and also involves the locally competent youth welfare office and the central adoption office of the state youth welfare office during the proceedings.

The court pronounces the adoption with strong effect if:

  • this serves the best interests of the child,
  • the necessary consents to an acceptance with an effect terminating the parent-child relationship have been granted, and
  • overriding interests of the husband, wife or children of the adoptee or adopted child.

Your adopted child then has all the rights and obligations of a biological child. In addition, if they are not yet 18 years old at the time of the application, they will receive German citizenship if you or your husband or wife are German citizens.

Responsible for the content
Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice

Last update or date of publication
10.11.2020