Adoption of a foreign child decision

You can adopt not only a German child but also a foreign one. This is decided by the family court and requires a notarized application.

In the case of a national adoption, not only children with German, but also with foreign citizenship can be adopted. Although it is an adoption with foreign contact of the child, the adoption decision is pronounced by a German family court. The decisive factor in the adoption of a foreign child is that the parties involved (adoptive parents and adopted child) have their habitual residence in Germany.

For an adoption procedure, the following documents are required in particular:

  • Notarized adoption application
  • Declarations of consent
  • Birth certificate of the child
  • Marriage certificate of the adopter
  • Proof of nationality of the parties concerned
  • Registration certificates of the parties involved
  • Health certificates of the participants
  • Police clearance certificates of the adopters
  • Proof of income of the adopters

The family court will request further documents if necessary.


The basic prerequisite for the adoption of a child is that it serves the best interests of the child and that the emergence of a parent-child relationship can be predicted.

Minor adoption is only possible if the child is not yet 18 years old when the adoption is pronounced.

Further requirements are the ability of the adopters to be parents for this child, an appropriate adoption care period and the existence of the declarations of consent of the parties involved.

Related Links

  • § 1741 Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 1742 Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 1742 Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 1744 Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 1746 Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 1747 Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 1749 Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 1750 Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 1752 Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 1754 Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 1755 Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 187 Act on Proceedings in Family Matters and in Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction (FamFG)
  • § 197 Act on Proceedings in Family Matters and in Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction (FamFG)
  • § 30a Federal Central Register Act (BZRG)

Adoption requires a notarized application, which must be submitted to the family court. If the family court pronounces the adoption, the child acquires the legal status of a joint child of the adoptive parents. With the adoption decision, the child's relationship with his biological parents and relatives expires.

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