What inspired you to adopt a child

Adopting a Child: How To Do It And What You Need To Know

Many couples want a child together at some point in their relationship. But this wish does not come true for everyone. If it doesn't work naturally and artificial insemination is unsuccessful, some couples consider adopting a child.

So that you know exactly how an adoption works, what you have to pay attention to, how long it takes and whether you can also adopt a child as a single, we have summarized the most important things for you.

Adopt a child - how does that even work?

Adopting a child means giving a home to a non-biological child, accepting it, loving it, and accompanying it for the rest of its life. Not an easy task. Therefore, potential adoptive parents are put through their paces.

At the very beginning of an adoption there is contact with an adoption agency. Public adoption agencies are located in the local youth welfare office. In an initial interview, women and men who are considering adopting a child should be given detailed advice and information. What does it mean to adopt a child, which hurdles have to be overcome, what is really in store for us? It is important that couples considering adopting a child are sure that this is the right path for them.

Once the decision to adopt a child has been made, the application for adoption must then be submitted. The following documents are required for this:

  • the application for adoption and a personal application letter in which the adoptive parents explain why they want to adopt a child
  • Birth and marriage certificate
  • partners' résumés
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Evidence of earnings and assets
  • Evidence of Debt
  • Health certificates

In addition, there is also a questionnaire in which, among other things, questions about religion and educational ideas are asked, but also, for example, what would happen in the event of a separation. Once the first bureaucratic hurdle in the adoption process has been cleared, the aptitude test procedure follows.

This is what the German Civil Code (BGB) says:

(1) Adoption as a child is permissible if it serves the best interests of the child and it is to be expected that a parent-child relationship will arise between the adopting person and the child. [...]

(2) Anyone who is not married can only adopt a child alone. A married couple can only adopt a child jointly. One spouse can adopt one of their spouses' children alone. He can also adopt a child alone if the other spouse cannot adopt the child because he is incapable of doing business or has not yet reached the age of 21.

(You can read the full legal text here.)

How long does it take to adopt a child?

In the aptitude test procedure, as the name suggests, the parents are checked for their suitability as adoptive parents in discussions with the youth welfare office. There are individual and couple conversations with a social worker, in which questions are asked about one's own childhood, the relationship to one another, the desire to have children and the ideas for the future.

It is important to find out the personal limits of the potential adoptive parents, because a non-biological child who may have had a difficult start in life and may be very different from the adoptive parents can lead to rejection. It is important to find out what is important to parents and, above all, what can be expected of them.

In fact, the proficiency test process takes between 4 and 9 months. If the suitability of the couple has been determined, it will last for 2 years. At the couple's request, a social report can be drawn up, which is necessary if they want to adopt a child abroad.

Because the examination process takes so long and also because the couple's suitability is only valid for two years, it is important that couples maintain regular contact with the youth welfare office. There are around eight times as many couples in Germany who want to adopt a child as there are children who can be adopted.

What does it cost to adopt a child?

Visits to a public adoption agency of a youth welfare office and the aptitude test there are free of charge. Only those who turn to an independent adoption agency - which have a corresponding approval from the central adoption agencies of the state youth welfare offices - and go through the aptitude test there, must expect costs of around 1000 euros.

What's next and what is the adoption care period?

Once the parents have passed the aptitude test, it is common for them to take in a foster child. The so-called adoption care period lasts an average of one year and can be viewed as a test phase for adoption. In that year the child lives with the adoptive parents, but the rights and obligations of the birth parents are not completely overridden and the legal representative of the child is the youth welfare office for this period.

If a good parent-child relationship has been established between the adoptive child and parents during the adoption care period, the child can be finally adopted.

Who can even adopt a child?

Married couples, but also individuals, can adopt a child. For a child to be adopted in Germany, the potential adoptive parents must have reached the age of 21. It has also been shown that if you want to adopt a baby or toddler, you shouldn't be older than 35.

In the case of unmarried couples, only one person can adopt the child.

Can homosexuals adopt a child?

Adopting a child is more difficult for homosexual couples because their relationship is still viewed as 'sub-optimal'. Adoption can be easier for them if they try not as a couple but as an individual.

What do I have to consider when adopting abroad?

Because the number of couples who want to adopt a child in Germany is many times higher than the number of children to be adopted in Germany, some are considering adopting a child from abroad. But here, too, there are a few things to consider!

If you want to adopt a child from abroad as a married couple, one of the partners must be at least 25 years old, the other must be at least 21 years old. In a married couple, it is not possible for only one person to adopt the child; both of them must always apply.

It is best to first contact recognized associations or agencies for an adoption abroad. Because this is where you know best which documents are required, what costs you will have to pay and which legal provisions apply in which country.

As with an adoption in Germany, couples also have to register with the adoption agency for an adoption abroad and go through the aptitude test. With a positive aptitude test, the parents receive the social report and are legally able to adopt a child from abroad.

Often, adoptions abroad take place in the child's home country

The documents then have to be translated and sent to the responsible adoption offices abroad. They can then make an adoption proposal, which will be checked by the German placement office. If all agencies agree to the adoption, the child may be entrusted to the parents in Germany for care. The actual adoption then also takes place in Germany.

More often, however, adoptions take place in the child's home country. Adopting a child abroad often means that the potential adoptive parents will spend a long time with him in his home country. If the adoption is valid in the child's country of origin, the parents also need entry documents and the consent of the German immigration authorities and then the adoption must also be recognized by the responsible family court in Germany.

The costs for an adoption abroad are higher than for an adoption in Germany. The largest expenses can be found for lawyers and travel.

Source: Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection

Also on gofeminin.de:

Unfulfilled desire to have children: When it just doesn't work out

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Artificial insemination: the last chance to have a child?

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