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

Special provisions apply to international adoption. Many states are only familiar with low-impact adoption. This means that the rights and obligations of the adopted child to the family of origin are not completely extinguished. In addition, the adopted child does not automatically acquire German citizenship if one of the acceptors is German or German. If you have adopted a child abroad and this foreign adoption has only weak effects, it is possible to have it converted into an adoption with strong effects in Germany.

You can check with your local adoption agency and the family court about the documents to be presented. In any case, you need: the notarised application for conversion of the adoption the foreign court adoption decision (original or certified copy with translation) the foreign adoption certificate (original or certified copy with translation) Note: Foreign documents must normally be accompanied by "over-certification" by the competent foreign authority (apostille) or legalisation by the German diplomatic mission.


Preconditions
You have accepted a child abroad. The transformation into a strong adoption serves the best interests of the child. The biological parents and the child have agreed to a strong adoption and thus a termination of the parent-child relationship. The interests of the spouse or the children of both parties do not preclude a conversion into a strong adoption.
Make a notarized application for conversion at the Family Court at the District Court. The court examines the application and participates during the proceedings with the local youth office and the central adoption office of the Land Youth Office. If all the conditions are met, the court shall rule that the child shall be given the status of a child adopted in accordance with German substantive rules. Your adopted child then has all the rights and obligations of a biological child and also receives German nationality if you or your spouse are German nationals.

Responsible for the content
MFFJIV

Last update or date of publication
20.11.2018