Desire to have children - adoption

First information about adoption

Article was written on 01.09.2020 by Stefanie.

Some couples have an unfulfilled desire to have children, others cannot imagine a pregnancy of their own. The reasons for not being able or not wanting to become pregnant are many and varied and often form a highly sensitive subject area. One possibility to have a "own" child nevertheless is to adopt a child. In this article we would like to explain what this means, what requirements you should bring along and what the first steps in this process are.

Desire to have children - adoption

In this article you can expect four different questions and answers about adoption. Some words are linked to our Glossary, there you will find more detailed explanations of difficult terms. Our Glossary is also available in 14 languages.

1. How does an adoption work in Germany?

If you decide to adopt a child after a consultation in one of the institutions listed below, an aptitude test is carried out to check whether you meet the requirements for adoption. If you pass this part, the professionals will start looking for a child who could fit into your small family. In doing so, the responsible mediators always make a decision for the good of the child. If a child is found for your family, there is something like a "probationary period". During this time the child will live at your home for a fixed period of time and it will be checked whether a bond between (you) the adoption parents and the child is created. All rights are still with the responsible youth welfare department during this time. After this successfully completed time, the family court can make an adoption decision and the adoption is completed. During this whole time you will be accompanied regularly by your adoption agency. They will be at your side to answer any questions you may have.

Costs and time span

The duration as well as the costs of an adoption can also be very different in Germany. We are talking about a period of one to two years, in some cases it can take longer, as the search for adoptive parents and child is a decision for life. Costs in Germany can vary between 75€ and 800€, depending on the amount of notary fees, youth welfare office fees etc. This can vary from one placement office to the next, so it makes sense to find out more about the different agencies.

2. What requirements do I have to meet to adopt a child?

For you to be able to adopt a child, there are some requirements that you and your partner must first meet. Single people or people in a partnership can also adopt, but it is easiest if they are married.

  • Minimum age: This means that one of the future adoptive parents must be at least 25 years old, because from this point on you are fully legally competent. The other person should not be younger than 21 years. There is no maximum age.
  • Furthermore, many personal areas are examined more closely, so that the whereabouts of a child can be secured. Such as your own personality, the health of the future parents, your ideas about upbringing and the strength of the partnership. Furthermore, the living conditions in which you live and, above all, whether you are financially secure - i.e. whether you can prove that you have a sufficient and regular income.

3. Who do I contact when I am considering adoption?

There are various contact points for the mediation of an adoption, they advise and support you in this process, among them are in most cases the adoption agencies in the youth welfare office, social services or adoption services of church institutions. Find out the number of your regional youth welfare office or use the Internet to find adoption agencies in your area.

4. What financial assistance can I expect from the state?

You can also apply for some state benefits, which are also paid to families with biological (own) children, after an adoption. These include parental allowance, parental leave - provided the children are of the appropriate age - and, of course, child benefit.

All these points concern mediation in Germany, i.e. within Germany. If you want to adopt a child from abroad, the costs will be higher and the adoption will be more complicated. But don't worry, trained professionals in the above-mentioned agencies can certainly help you, because you are not the first person who wants to adopt a child and brings with it its own challenges and concerns.


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