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Requirements for adoption

These requirements must meet those interested in adoption


The best interests of the child are central to adoption

The youth welfare office or a recognized adoption agency is responsible for placing an adopted child. Because the welfare of the child is the first priority for the professionals, the placement is preceded by a thorough examination. The process requires patience and places high demands on the potential adoptive parents. This article will tell you which requirements must be met and which aspects adoption applicants should consider in their deliberations.

Who can adopt a child?

Whoever wants to adopt a child must have unlimited legal capacity. Couples who wish to adopt a child should be married to each other. It goes without saying that the relationship should be harmonious and intact. After all, the adopted child should have a secure and stable home.
Purely legally, single applicants can also adopt a child. A particularly detailed child welfare examination is presupposed. An adoption is promising, for example, if there is already a significant relationship with the child or if there is an underlying kinship relationship.

If the couple is unmarried, only one partner can adopt the child. The other partner can then adopt the child, if necessary, as part of a successive adoption.

Since 2017, same-sex couples have also been allowed to adopt children jointly. The prerequisite is that they are married and they meet all other requirements equally. This was previously only possible for registered partners in the context of a successive adoption.

What adoption applicants should know in advance

A placement process can be lengthy. It requires patience and empathy on the part of professionals and applicants. They should also be aware that increasing waiting time does not automatically increase the prospect of successful placement, since in Germany every child to be placed is faced with a large number of applicants.

What are the requirements for adoption?

During the adoption process, several personal interviews take place, as well as at least one home visit by the responsible specialist. The talks focus on questions about the child's own childhood and family, the couple relationship, how to deal with involuntary childlessness and the motivation for adoption. Personal and common goals for the future, educational ideas, and social and economic circumstances are also put to the test. The following criteria are part of the examination of an adoption suitability:


What is the suitability report?

The adoption agency summarizes the results of the suitability of the applicants in a so-called suitability report. This report may be made available to other agencies involved in the adoption. If the specialists determine that there is no suitability, the applicants are informed of the negative result in a personal interview.

Where can we find help and advice?

You can obtain information, information and advice about the possibilities, prospects and requirements of adoption from the adoption agencies in Germany. You can contact these offices:

More informationLinks for further reading

Which national achievements adoptive parents are entitled to, experience here on the Familienportal.NRW.


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.

The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs provides extensive information materials about the regulations in the adoption system. You can order the following materials on this website or download them free of charge.