How To, Pregnancy, Women Guide

How to Adopt a Baby

Honest adoption is often the better way – adopting a baby can be an alternative if you have an unfulfilled desire to have a baby. Since adopting a child is a decision with far-reaching consequences for all involved, a critical self-assessment should be carried out in advance.

Requirements for an adoption

In the foreground in the adoption of a minor child is always his welfare. It must be assumed that it grows up in an intact family and develops a so-called “true parent-child relationship.”

It is also stipulated that a future parent must be at least 25 and the other at least 21 years old. For the maximum age, there is no statutory provision, but in particular the chances of adopting a baby or toddler decrease with age, at the latest at 40, the chances of success fall.

The ideal case is that the future parents are married or in a registered partnership. For unmarried couples in an unregistered community, adoption is only possible through one of the partners, provided they reach the age of 25.

First, a child must be released for adoption. The birth parents can give their consent as soon as the child is eight weeks old.

Only a non-marital bodily father can give his consent before the birth of the guardianship court. In special cases, the consent may be replaced by a court order.

It also requires consent – for children under 14, this is done by the guardian, and older children must give their consent.

A notary must certify all documents to be submitted with the application. Finally, the youth welfare office decides on the suitability.

Various adoption types

There are different types of adoption. If it is a child from Germany, there is the talk of domestic adoption. Otherwise, the procedure is referred to as foreign adoption.

If a partner brings a child into marriage and the new partner adopts it, it is a stepchild adoption. Also, there is the kinship adoption: If the parents of a child have died or for other reasons unable to take care of their child, for example, the grandparents can apply for adoption.

Furthermore, there are the incognito – the half-open and the open adoption. In the incognito adoption, neither the biological parents nor the adoptive parents are informed about the data of the others. Only the child may, as soon as it is 16 years old, apply for access to the mediation file.

If it is a semi-open adoption, all parties have the opportunity to contact through the Youth Welfare Office. Letters or photos can be exchanged without concrete data becoming known.

Open adoption, on the other hand, allows direct contact between adoptive parents and the child with the biological parents.

preliminary considerations

Before adopting, you should think extensively about your ideas. This requires a review of one’s motivation and is also an advantage in the aptitude test by the youth welfare office.

It is particularly important to consider whether you want to adopt a baby, toddler or older child. In the foreground should always be the needs of the child, which you finally have to do justice to.

In addition to the age of the child and its history may be relevant. Depending on their previous life experiences, there may be a variety of problems that you have to deal with. In a foreign adoption, cultural aspects may play a role in later life together.


The application is made at the youth welfare office. If you would like to adopt a child, you will need to submit various documents such as birth certificates, CVs, police certificates, health and income proofs. The youth welfare offices provide more information for the individual case.

Furthermore, a questionnaire is to be completed in which you have to explain your motivation. Here, factors such as the conception of parenting, the expectation of the development of the relationship with partner and child, possible religious sentiments and the like are questioned.

After the application has been made, an aptitude test will be carried out by the youth welfare office. In personal conversations, all relevant topics relating to adoption are addressed, the housing conditions are examined and, if necessary, answers from the questionnaire are highlighted again.

This procedure can take several months. Only after a suitability assessment by the youth welfare office is an adoption possible.

However, this is no guarantee that it comes to an adoption decision by the guardianship court because in Germany are regularly recorded more adoptive couples as released children.

Before a final adoption decision is made, a nursing time is provided. The affected child then lives for some time as a foster child with the potential adoptive parents. Subsequently, they can submit a membership application to a notary who forwards them to the guardianship court.

This makes a decision taking into account the aptitude assessment and the needs of the child.

Waiting years of a few years are not uncommon in domestic adoptions; a foreign adoption may then be an alternative. For this purpose, after the aptitude test, you can have a social report handed out by the youth welfare office for submission to the relevant switching centers.

In a stepchild adoption, the test procedure is less strict; a kinship adoption is taking the child’s welfare usually less tedious.

Rights and obligations

If you have adopted a child, it will be treated as your child before the law. So you are allowed to decide on things like place of residence, school education and education, but also have all the associated duties. This concerns both financial aspects and crisis management.

Dealing with the adopted child

With the adoption, you are equal to the biological parents. A new birth certificate will be issued for the child and of course, you should treat it like your child.

However, sooner or later the question arises as to whether and how to tell your child that it has been adopted.

Many adoptive parents worry about the reaction when they learn that they are not their biological parents. Will she still recognize it? Would you like to get to know your biological parents? Does this change the relationship?

On the other hand, children have a fine sense of unspoken things – if the adoption is kept secret, it can have a negative impact on the relationship. This is especially true when it eventually comes to know by chance of the adoption, for example, by the story of a relative or because it finds relevant documents.

An unbiased approach to adoption can, therefore, be the better way.

About the weather, when and how enlightenment you have to decide individually. Depending on the age of a child is different receptive and not always there is a nice history. It is usually recommended to introduce the child openly but carefully to all details.

At the latest, if it asks questions yourself, you should answer them honestly.

Focal points

If there are problems with the Youth Welfare Office during the aptitude test or if you have any other need for clarification, you can turn to different contact points.


  • The process of adopting a baby or a minor child at a glance:
  • check your motivation and expectations
  • Application to the youth welfare office
  • Proficiency testing procedure
  • Aptitude
  • Appeal to the Guardianship Court
  • Adoption decision after the successful nursing time

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