What is the adoption process

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1. What is international adoption?

A adoption is the creation of a descent relationship through a legal act and can be based on a contract or a decision of a court or administrative authority. It changes the family affiliation of a person and thus also his identity and thus means a considerable interference in his individuality and personality and thus also in his basic rights. The purpose of adopting a child is to offer the child security and continuity in a new family if the birth parents fail. The legal appointment of new parents accordingly presupposes that they grow into the actual role of the failed parents, in the words of the law that a parent-child relationship has arisen between the child and its new parents and vice versa, or that it is reasonably expected to arise can be. This means that because of the scope of the adoption - not only in terms of fundamental rights - the necessary legal act should in principle only take place at a point in time at which the facts on which it is based have already been created, i.e. the law implements or changes the actual development that has already taken place. confirmed, or the actual development has at least progressed so far that it can be assumed with sufficient certainty that it will result in such a parent-child relationship. In this respect, German law provides for an adoption foster care period in accordance with Section 1744 of the German Civil Code (BGB). In the case of international adoptions, this is more difficult to organize, but no less important. Some foreign legal systems therefore require the future parents to stay in the child's living environment before the adoption is pronounced.

A international adoption occurs if the adoption involves a change of residence for the child from one state (home state) to another (host state). It does not matter whether the change of residence takes place before or after the adoption, or whether the adoption is made in the country of origin or in the host country. The nationality of the participants is also not decisive. So if a German couple with habitual residence in another country adopts a child there, it is nonetheless a domestic adoption there. On the other hand, the adoption of a German child habitually residing in another country by German applicants residing in Germany with the aim of relocating the child to Germany would be an international adoption.

According to Islamic law, the kafala is to be distinguished from an adoption. They do not interfere with the parentage and kinship relationships, but rather entrust a child to other parents by transferring parental responsibility for care and upbringing, while maintaining its biological origin. It is therefore not a question of establishing a permanent parent-child relationship, but rather the Kafala is most likely to be compared with a permanent care relationship combined with a guardianship. The law and the procedure of adoption mediation are therefore not applicable to them; Kafala decisions are therefore not accessible to a determination of recognition under the Adoption Acts Act.


2. What are the legal requirements for adoption applicants?

Anyone wishing to adopt a child, whether at home or abroad, must be legally competent under German law and be at least 25 years old. In the case of joint adoption by a married couple, one of the spouses must be at least 25 years old and the other at least 21 years old. In principle, married couples can only adopt a child together. In the context of a so-called stepchild adoption, one spouse can adopt the child of the other spouse alone. Adoption in stages (successive adoption), i.e. initially by one spouse and later by the other, is not permitted for spouses. However, the adoption of children of the other spouse who had already adopted before the marriage is permitted (§ 1742 BGB).

There are no legal restrictions on the nationality of applicants.

If foreign law applies to the adoption, i.e. other age requirements apply, these will apply.

If German citizens live abroad and want to adopt a child there or a child from a third country there, foreign adoption authorities may request a certificate of the applicants' legal qualifications under their home law, i.e. under German law. The Federal Office of Justice as the Federal Central Agency for Adoption Abroad will issue such a certificate upon request (Section 7 (4) AdVermiG). The certificate only relates to the legal qualification for adoption, but not to the health of the applicants or their other suitability for adopting a child.


3. Is there an age limit for adoption applicants?

While § 1743 BGB prescribes a minimum age for adoption, one is Maximum age limit for adoption applicants by law Not intended. However, it should be noted that in the case of adoptions abroad, the material law of the respective state may be decisive. According to local knowledge, the adoption law of most states does not have an upper age limit either.

However, the age of the adoption applicant, along with a number of other criteria, plays a role in the parental aptitude test. The aim of adoption is that between the future parents and the adopted child Parent-child relationship arise and the child should still have resilient parents even in adolescence.


4. Are there differences in relation to the country of origin of the adopting child?

When adopting a child from another country, not only the cultural differences but also the legal framework conditions there must be observed.

Not all countries have an adoption that can be carried out in Germany. Some states with an Islamic legal system do not allow adoption in the sense of a full "adoption as a child" according to their respective legal systems. They are limited to the creation of lesser legal ties between a child and his or her guardian, without creating relationships between them based on the law of parentage, as provided for in the case of an adoption according to German legal understanding. For this reason, adoptions of children are not possible in such states.

Other states allow adoption through Foreigners not at all, or limit them to foreigners Residence in the home country of the child.

Differences are also to be made according to whether the child to be adopted comes from a signatory or non-signatory state to the Hague Convention. Since the contracting states have undertaken to adhere to the procedures laid down in detail in the Convention, applicants can generally rely on the fact that the selection of the parents for the child (the so-called matching) has been carried out carefully and by the competent authorities in both the home state and the child also carried out by the host country. In non-signatory states, it has already happened in individual cases that instead of the originally proposed child, another, often older or health-related or psychosocial child with severe health problems was presented to the adoption applicants. In such cases, applicants lack the professional advice they need to make an appropriate decision.

Which documents are required in individual cases when adopting a child from another country can be obtained from the respective adoption agencies.


5. Do stepchildren and relatives adoptions also fall under the Hague Adoption Convention?

Although the adoption convention with its procedural rules is based on the approach of bringing together a child in need of adoption with previously unknown parents, it also applies to stepchildren and relatives adopting them. Therefore, neither the German Implementation Act nor the Adoptionsvermittlungsgesetz contain special regulations for this type of adoption. Even if the child to be adopted and those willing to adopt are known from the outset and the actual matching process cannot be carried out, the applicability of the convention has advantages for those involved: In the context of the convention, the responsibilities and contacts abroad are ensured, the involvement of German specialist agencies In the context of the aptitude test of the adoption applicants and a codecision on the question of the need for adoption in the context of the approval requirement according to Article 17 letter c HAÜ is guaranteed and ultimately the recognition rules of the Convention also benefit the parties involved. For example, no children who live with their parents and siblings should be adopted by relatives living in Germany in order to overcome unwanted childlessness, for purely economic reasons or just to offer the children better educational and professional opportunities. The rules on jurisdiction, the obligation to notify, and the storage and inspection of files also apply to stepchildren and relatives adopting them.


6. Can same-sex couples jointly adopt a child abroad?

With the law on the introduction of the right to marry for persons of the same sex of July 20, 2017, same-sex couples have been able to marry since October 1, 2017. The right to marry includes the right to adopt a child. After the change in the law, homosexual couples can jointly adopt a non-biological child.

It should be noted, however, that in the case of an adoption abroad, the legal situation in the country in which the adoption is to be pronounced is generally important.


7. Which foreign placement agencies can adoption applicants contact?

International adoption placement is subject to government approval and control. This is intended to counteract child trafficking and unauthorized adoption mediation and ensure the professional quality of adoption mediation. According to the new version of the Adoption Placement Act, international adoption placement services are allowed - regardless of whether they Contracting or non-contracting states of the Convention - only operate:

  • the central adoption agencies of the state youth welfare offices,
  • the adoption agencies of the local youth welfare offices, provided that the central adoption agency of the state youth welfare office responsible for them has allowed them to carry out international mediation in relation to one state or several states or in an individual case,
  • Recognized foreign placement agencies (independent agencies), which must be domiciled in Germany, as part of their approval. Admission is granted by the central adoption agency of the State Youth Welfare Office responsible for your seat,
  • Organizations approved abroad, insofar as the Federal Office of Justice, as the federal central office for international adoption, has permitted them to act as intermediaries in the respective individual case.

List of foreign exchange agencies approved in Germany (independent agencies)


8. Can you adopt a child abroad without using a German adoption agency?

In answering this question, a distinction must be made between States parties to the Hague Adoption Convention and those that are not party to the Convention. When adopting from a Contracting State is the participation of authorized switching agencies mandatory intended. Authorized bodies in the home and host countries examine the need for adoption and parental aptitude on their own responsibility. The adoption process may only be continued if the relevant authorities of both countries have given their consent (Article 17 (c) HAÜ). An adoption without the involvement of an authorized agency is therefore not permitted. When adopting a child from a contracting state in violation of the Convention - in particular when a German central authority is not involved (such as the locally responsible adoption agency of the State Youth Welfare Office or an approved adoption agency in private ownership) - the adoption agency is eligible for recognition (requirement for entry below and the stay in Germany) in question.
At Non-contracting states the requirement of mutual consent of the home and host countries to continue the adoption process is not provided for by the law. An adoption without the involvement of a German agency is thus not strictly prohibited, but carries risks that should not be underestimated.

The Federal Office of Justice therefore advises against carrying out an adoption abroad without the involvement of a German placement agency, as both when the child enters Germany and when the adoption is later recognized by the family court in the recognition and effectiveness assessment procedure or when dealing with other authorities (e.g. registry office or passport office) significant problems can arise.

As part of the assessment of the eligibility of an adoption abroad, it must be established that the foreign decision took into account the child's best interests to an extent sufficient to meet the local legal principles (so-called public policy). According to the explanatory memorandum for the Adoption Effect Act (Bundestag printed paper 14/6011, page 29), a child welfare test that satisfies German ordre public requires a comprehensive professional assessment of the applicant's overall living conditions, which, according to the legislature, is usually only carried out by a specialist department at the applicant's center of life can be done. If such an assessment is missing, this gives rise to doubts as to the compatibility of the foreign adoption decision with German public policy, which must be followed up in court proceedings (see also no. 15).
According to local knowledge, the German diplomatic missions abroad will generally only issue the adopted children with appropriate entry documents for the Federal Republic of Germany if the adoption is properly accompanied by a German placement agency or if a court decision on recognition has already been made under the Adoption Act.

The necessity of engaging an adoption agency in Germany arises from the fact that children from non-contracting states as well as children from contracting states of the adoption convention need protection in international adoption procedures. The prevention of improper advantages in connection with their adoption, in particular child trafficking, is not only the task of the countries of origin of the children, but also of the countries in which potential buyers of such children live. Adoption without the involvement of an international placement agency is also not advisable if lawyers or other "experts" offer quick and "unbureaucratic" help in return for substantial cash payments. The consideration of the best interests of the child in the adoption decisions in the child's home country depends in such cases on the requirements that apply there, which are occasionally reduced to the examination of professional documents, financial circumstances, health and previous convictions of the applicants. The origin of the children and, in particular, the need to take them abroad as part of an international adoption have not always been adequately clarified.


9. How is the adoption process organized under the Convention?

The placement of a child with habitual residence abroad is based on the general provisions of the Adoption Placement Act. When mediating from a state party to the Hague Convention, the Convention and the provisions of the Adoption Convention Implementation Act must also be observed.

The adoption applicants first turn to one of the international placement agencies mentioned under 7 with a request for advice. If you decide to specifically consider adopting a foreign child, first select a particular country of origin for the child. This is followed by advice on general issues relating to international adoption in the form of seminars or discussions with other foreign adoptive parents or specialists. This varies from exchange to exchange. If the applicant's desire to adopt a child from the selected country is solidified under the impression of the counseling, this is followed by the aptitude test by the foreign placement office, which can carry out the parental aptitude test itself or the local youth welfare office. The corresponding report (also called home study, social report, parental suitability report or adoption suitability report) and the other documents required for the selected home country are translated and then forwarded to the competent authority there; this can in turn be a governmental or a privately approved organization which carries out the tasks of a central authority in accordance with Article 22 paragraph 2 i. V. with Articles 15 to 21 HAÜ.The foreign office then submits a proposal for a specific child to the German placement office, which is examined by the adoption placement office and, if the assessment is positive, opened to the adoption applicants and discussed with them. If the applicants agree to the specific child proposal, the youth welfare office responsible for the applicant's place of residence accepts the declaration of readiness to adopt the proposed child in public notarization and sends a certified copy of this declaration to the placement office, which then gives consent to continue the procedure in accordance with Article 17 Letter c HAÜ brings about (§ 5 paragraph 2 sentence 2 AdÜbAG). Subsequently, the adoption can either be carried out in the child's home country in accordance with the law applicable there or the decision can be made to entrust the child to the adoption applicants for care in order to carry out the adoption in the host country after the child has moved. In the case of adoption in the child's home country - which is the normal case - the entry documents must be applied for at the local German diplomatic mission before the child enters Germany. In the case of adoption by at least one German parent, this is a passport paper if the legal effects of the adoption are equivalent and, in the case of non-equivalent legal effects or also in the case of adoption by non-German adoptive parents, a visa.


10. What are the legal effects of an adoption of a minor child abroad or under foreign law?

Adoption law is structured differently in different countries around the world. This does not only apply to the conditions under which a child can be adopted or the rules on how the procedure is structured in detail. The effects of an adoption can also be very different. It does not matter whether a state is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention or not, because the Convention does not specify any requirements in this respect, but does not affect the material adoption rights of the individual states. Only a foreign adoption that can be recognized in Germany has an impact in Germany. In principle, the legal effects of adoption cannot go further than the law of the country of origin provides (also question 11 and question 13).

What all legal relationships designated as adoption have in common is that they are geared towards establishing a permanent parent-child relationship (see also Article 2 paragraph 2 HAÜ).

With regard to the legal effects of an adoption, a distinction must be made between a full adoption, a strong and a weak adoption. In addition, there are legal relationships, especially the kafala in Islamic states, which are most likely comparable to a permanent care relationship combined with a guardianship and therefore cannot be recognized as an adoption under the Adoption Acts Act. The list of states contains an overview of the effects of adoption according to the law of the respective states.
Since the unambiguous qualification as full adoption, strong or weak adoption or as a pure foster relationship or guardianship is not infrequently difficult due to the peculiarities of the autonomous law of the various states, the respective foreign legal text is initially reproduced in the list of states. The Federal Central Agency for Adoption Abroad then evaluates it in one of the categories, whereby the classification is justified in cases of doubt for the purpose of increased transparency.

The legal effects of a foreign adoption decision also have an influence on the acquisition of German citizenship, see question 13.


11. What is a full adoption or a strong or weak adoption?

a) Full adoption

From one Full adoption one speaks when the applicable foreign law orders that the adopted child receives the legal status of a biological child of the adopting person through the adoption. This also means that there is a relationship to the relatives of the adopting person and the corresponding legal relationships to the biological family are completely extinguished. German adoption law is an example of regulated full adoption. When creating the list of states (see question 10), however, only the respective Adoptionsregulations of the states concerned, since the Federal Office of Justice, as the federal central agency for international adoption, does not entire legal system of the respective state can be checked. This applies in particular to regulations that may be relevant for adoption and that are anchored in other laws that are not available here.

A full adoption can also be assumed if foreign international private law refers back to German material law as the effective statute and German law has been applied in the foreign adoption decision.

b) Strong adoption

From one strengthen One speaks of adoption when the adopted child on the one hand loses the legal ties to its birth parents through the adoption and on the other hand corresponding rights and obligations towards the adopting person are established through the adoption. This means that there is still a family relationship and, to that extent, the equality of foreign adoption with German factual regulations on the newly created parent-child relationship limited. Therefore, the foreign adoption law for a determination according to § 2 paragraph 2 sentence 1 number 1AdWirkG (strong adoption) does not necessarily provide for the integration of the child into the entire adoptive family, i.e. the creation of a relationship to the parents, siblings, and possibly other biological children of the adoptive parents. In the case of a strong adoption, the court determines in its recognition decision in accordance with Section 2 (2) sentence 1 no. 1 AdWirkG that if the original parent-child relationship expires, the adoption relationship (in the relationship between the adopter and the adopter) is based on German factual regulations Acceptance ratio is the same. However, the determination according to § 2 Paragraph 2 Sentence 1 No. 1 AdWirkG does not mean that the adoption effects are based on German factual regulations, but foreign law remains applicable (BT-Drucks. 14/6011, p. 48). Rather, the determination according to § 2 Paragraph 2 Clause 1 No. 1 of the AdWirkG relates exclusively to the expiry of the original parent-child relationship and, as a result, to the creation of a new parent-child relationship, which legally corresponds to a parent-child relationship that came about according to German adoption regulations (for conversion according to Section 3 (2) AdWirkG, see question 12).

c) Weak adoption

From one weaknesses or incomplete Finally, one speaks of adoption when the adoption establishes a permanent parent-child relationship with the adopters, but the remaining essential legal relationships, such as inheritance rights, with the biological parents are retained. According to § 2 Paragraph 2 Clause 1 No. 2 of the AdWirkG, in the case of a weak adoption, it is therefore only determined that the acceptance relationship with regard to parental custody and the maintenance obligation of the adopter is equivalent to an acceptance relationship based on the German substantive regulations (for conversion according to § 3 Paragraph 2 AdWirkG see question 12).

d) Other legal relationships

If the foreign law does not provide for a permanent parent-child relationship, but merely orders the caregiver to be taken into care with duties related to care and maintenance, it cannot be considered an adoption as understood here.


12. Can an adoption carried out abroad, the legal effects of which do not correspond to those of a German adoption, be converted in Germany?

One speaks of a conversion when there is a change in the legal effects of the adoption through a so-called change of statutes into German law. A change in the statutes to German law means that German material law will apply instead of foreign law and the legal effects of the adoption will be based directly on German material regulations, i.e. Sections 1754 et seq. Of the German Civil Code (BGB). This can be significant in cases where, for example, foreign law has dissolved the relationship between the child and its family of origin, but only established new family relationships with the adoptive parents, but not with their relatives.

a) Full adoption

In the case of acceptance relationships designated as full adoption in the list of states, a conversion according to § 3 AdWirkG is generally not necessary, but possible, since the legal effects of the international adoption do not have to be identical to an adoption pronounced under German substantive law. However, in the case of full adoption under foreign law, the question of conversion usually only arises in cases in which German naming law is to be applied.

b) Strong adoption

By converting a strong adoption in accordance with Section 3 (2) AdWirkG, the legal situation for families living in Germany or German families living abroad is simplified by the fact that the legal position of the adoptive child is now generally based on German law.

An adoption is pronounced according to Guinean law, and in Germany the recognition is determined according to § 2 paragraph 2 sentence 1 no. 1 AdWirkG. In Article 385 of the Guinean law, the complete break in the relationship between the adopted child and the biological family is standardized. According to Article 386, relatives in the ascending line are only bound by the effects of adoption if they have consented to the adoption. The parents of the adoptive parents did not expressly consent to the adoption. Therefore, the Guinean adoption parfaite only develops the effects of an adoption with so-called strong effects.
In addition to the Guinean adopted child, the adoptive parents have another, but biological, child and die before the wealthy grandparents. After their death, the probate court refuses to issue the adopted child with a certificate of inheritance because, under applicable Guinean law, he does not inherit from the grandparents for lack of their consent. The biological child is the only relative of the grandparents who inherits. If there had been a change in the statutes according to Section 3 (2) of the AdWirkG, the adoptive child and the biological child would inherit in equal parts.

c) Weak adoption

If the foreign decision attaches weak effects to the adoption, the adoption can be converted into a full adoption in accordance with Section 3 (1) AdWirkG.

The judicial conversion decision means that the effects of the adoption are based on German material law. The family court at the seat of the Higher Regional Court is also responsible for the conversion procedure, which always requires the adoption decision to be recognized.


13. How does a child adopted abroad acquire German citizenship?

Under the following conditions, a foreign child acquires through the legally effective decision of adoption right away and by law (§§ 3 Paragraph 1 Numbers 3, 6 of the Citizenship Act (StAG)) German citizenship:

  • the adoption must be effective, i.e. recognizable, according to German law;
  • the adopting spouse or one of the adopting spouses must have German citizenship;
  • the child must not have reached the age of 18 at the time of the application for acceptance and
  • the legal effects of foreign adoption must be at least equivalent to those of the adoption of minors according to German material regulations.

The acquisition of German citizenship is based on this Not after adoption law Evaluation of the adoption as full adoption, strong adoption or weak adoption as detailed in the "Adoption Effects and States List", but according to the nationality law Concept of "equivalence" of adoption. According to this, the element of "adoption as a child effective under German law" in Section 6 of the StAG is only fulfilled if the effects of the adoption to be assessed are equal to the effects of an adoption of a minor under German law in the aspects essential for the acquisition of citizenship.

It must be checked in each individual case whether these requirements are met.

In the Full or strong adoption of a foreign child by a German citizen, the equivalence criterion is regularly fulfilled, so that no further legal measures, such as the implementation of the recognition and effectiveness assessment procedure or even an additional legal act, such as naturalization, are required for the child to acquire German citizenship.

In contrast, the adopted child acquires from a weak adoption German citizenship usually only through a conversion according to § 3 AdWirkG of the adoption pronounced in the country of origin.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior points out that, in its opinion, German citizenship according to § 6 StAG is no longer acquired through the conversion decision if the application for conversion (§ 3 AdWirkG) is only submitted after the adoptive child has reached the age of 18.


14. Can the name of the child adopted abroad be changed?

In principle, the following options are conceivable for changing the name of a child adopted abroad:

  • As part of the adoption process abroadinsofar as the applicable law provides for or enables a name change. The name change is basically also included in the recognition of the foreign decision. This option should be used as a matter of priority if it is open and a name change is desired for the child.
  • In a public law proceeding, whereby according to § 3 i. In accordance with Section 11 of the Name Change Act (NamÄndG), there is basically the possibility of requesting a desired name change. In No. 63 of the general administrative regulation for the law on changing family names and first names (NamÄndVwV), however, it is expressed that the name change in the context of an adoption as a child is comprehensively regulated by the relevant provisions of civil law and, in accordance with the will of the legislature, conclusively . A name change sought by the adoptive parents can only be pursued in a public-law process if no civil-law process is available with which the name of the adoptive child can be changed. In addition to the name change, declarations on a possibly necessary name change or on the choice of a name already acquired in another member state of the European Union can be submitted to the registry office if the corresponding requirements are met according to Article 47 or 48 EGBGB.
  • As part of a conversion process under the Adoption Effectiveness Act (AdWirkG). The pronouncement of the conversion results in a change to German law and gives the child the legal status of a child adopted in accordance with German material regulations (see question 12). The conversion statement corresponds to the statement of adoption as a child according to § 1752 Paragraph 1 BGB and at the same time opens up the application of the legal design options of § 1757 Paragraph 2 to 4 BGB.


15. How is the recognition of a foreign adoption decision determined in Germany?

Before the Adoption Effectiveness Act came into force, there was often uncertainty about the recognition of a foreign adoption decision, as every authority involved, such as the registry office, the foreigners authority, the German diplomatic mission, the passport authority or the probate court, each new and not always with the same result about the recognition capability of a foreign one Adoption has decided as soon as the eligibility for recognition arose as a preliminary question. The already explained adoption law provides a procedure for the recognition and effectiveness determination of an adoption made abroad, through which a binding decision is made with effect for and against everyone - with the exception of the biological parents, if they were not involved in the procedure - whether the adoption carried out abroad is to be recognized in Germany and what legal effects it has. The repeat adoption, which was often carried out in the past due to legal uncertainty, has now become dispensable.

The procedure is open to all international adoptions, i. H. also for those who do not come under the Hague Adoption Convention and offers a significant gain in legal security for those affected. The district court - family court - in whose district the adopting person or one of the adopting children and, alternatively, the adopted child has their habitual residence and a higher regional court has its seat, is responsible for the procedure for the determination of recognition and effectiveness, for the district of this higher regional court (Section 5 (1) Sentence 2 AdWirkG, § 187 paragraph 1 and 2 FamFG).

If neither one of the adopters nor, alternatively, the adopted child has their habitual residence in Germany, the district court - Family Court - Schöneberg, Grunewaldstrasse 66/67, 10823 Berlin is responsible (Section 5 (1) sentence 2 AdWirkG, Section 187 (5) FamFG).

The prerequisite for the jurisdiction of German courts is that the adopting person, one of the adopting spouses or the child is German or has their habitual residence in Germany (Section 5 (1) sentence 2 AdWirkG, Section 101 FamFG).

A special feature applies here for contracting states. According to Article 23 Paragraph 1 HAÜ, an adoption is recognized by law in the other contracting states if the competent authority of the state in which it was carried out certifies that it has taken place in accordance with the Convention. This certificate must also state when and by whom the consents required for the continuation of the procedure in accordance with Article 17 letter c HAÜ have been given.

The certificate under Article 23 HAÜ is equivalent to a decision under the Adoption Effectiveness Act, but has the disadvantage that it does not say anything about the legal effects of the adoption (see question 10). Nevertheless, in the case of an adoption from a contracting state, it makes sense to work towards the issue of a certificate in accordance with Article 23 HAÜ, as this can also considerably facilitate the examination in the context of the judicial recognition and effectiveness assessment procedure.


16. Is the recognition and effectiveness assessment procedure to be carried out in every case?

The procedure under the Adoption Effectiveness Act is only carried out on application that does not require any form and is therefore not mandatory. Since German law recognizes foreign decisions in principle, unless there is a violation of the criteria mentioned in §§ 108 Paragraph 1, Paragraph 2 Clause 3 and 109 Paragraph 1 FamFG, namely a violation of essential principles of German law is obvious (public policy violation ), such a procedure is not absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, it can be advisable to carry out such a procedure together with a conversion procedure, especially in cases in which there are doubts as to whether it is a full, strong or weak adoption. The procedure offers the advantage that the decision to be made by the family court also deals with the legal effects of the adoption and works for and against everyone (with the exception of the biological parents) and thus creates legal clarity for those involved.


17. Does the adoptive child have the right to inspect the mediation files?

The files on each individual mediation case are kept for a hundred years from the birth of the child (Section 9b (1) sentence 1 AdVermiG). The legal representative and, from the age of sixteen, also the adopted child are entitled to inspect the placement documents, insofar as they concern the child's origin and life history (Section 9b (2) AdVermiG). The files can be inspected upon request and under the guidance of a specialist. Where the files have been kept can be determined via the central database of the Federal Central Agency for International Adoption, if the adoption was arranged by an agency authorized to arrange international adoption. However, this only applies to international adoption placement procedures that were concluded after November 19, 2002 (the entry into force of the regulation on reports of international adoption placement cases to the Federal Central Agency for Abroad Adoption).