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Adoption counseling centers

Counseling services for couples wishing to adopt


Information, advice and support are essential

The adoption of a child is a big step - both emotionally and legally. The decision should be well prepared. It is preceded by an extensive information phase and intensive counseling.


Couples or individuals considering adoption must contact an adoption agency in advance. Learn here, which agencies are involved and on what topics you will be advised there.

What adoption agencies are there?

Adoption agencies are either state-run or independent. Independent adoption agencies must be recognized by the state. Other institutions or agencies are not allowed to operate placement services in Germany.

State Switching Centers


State placement offices are, on the one hand, the state youth welfare offices. The staff of the central adoption offices at the LVR-Landesjugendamt (responsible for the Rhineland) and the LWL-Landesjugendamt (responsible for Westphalia-Lippe) provide advice on all questions and mediate intercountry adoptions in particular.
In addition, the state placement offices include the adoption placement offices of the local youth welfare offices, which are responsible for domestic placements.

Free agency


In addition to the state agencies, there are also free agencies, which are mostly in Catholic or Protestant sponsorship. In addition, there is also a recognized adoption agency in non-denominational sponsorship. Contact addresses can be found on the following websites:


Overseas Placement Offices


A list about approved brokerage offices for foreign adoptions can be found on the website of the Federal Office of Justice.

Important to know!

Please do not under any circumstances take up the offers of an unrecognized placement agency - neither in Germany nor in the home country of a child. Without the accompaniment of authorized specialized agencies, an adoption in Germany is generally not recognized and is also prohibited. They are threatened in this case severe legal and financial consequences, up to the accusation of involvement in child trafficking.

More informationLinks for further reading

The State Youth Welfare Office of the LVR (responsible for the Rhineland) provides detailed information on its site on the subject of adoption.

Adoption-interested from Westphalia-Lippe find on the side of the national youth welfare department of the LWL much helpful information to the topic.

The Adoption Assistance Act of 2021 will provide even better support for families taking in children. Details can be found on the page of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs.

The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs has published a magazine that provides insights, experiences and background on adoption. You can download the magazine here.

The state association PAN e.V. is an association of foster and adoptive families in NRW, which has made it its task to support and network in local and supra-local groups and self-help initiatives.

More informationDownload

A good overview for interested parties is provided by the brochure "Adoption". Publishers are the two regional associations LVR and LWL. The brochure is available for you to download free of charge.