International adoption

08.01.2024 - Article

In order for an international adoption to be recognised in Germany, you must follow a precise procedure. Therefore, please inform yourself in advance about the procedure and the requirements.

  • If a German adopts a foreign child abroad who is effectively a minor, the child acquires German citizenship and can apply for a German passport.
  • If, for example, a foreigner living in Germany effectively adopts a minor child who is currently living abroad, the child can apply for a family reunion visa.

International adoptions and the associated recognition procedure are legally complex. They can take several years. If a passport or visa is applied for without the child having been effectively adopted under German law, the corresponding application will be rejected. This means that, for example, a Gambian “Affidavit of Consent for Adoption” or a Gambian adoption judgement is never sufficient proof of adoption.

In the case of an international adoption project, please always contact the Central Adoption Office of the State Youth Welfare Office (“Landesjugendamt”) in your place of residence or a state-recognised foreign adoption agency.

Please note that the embassy does not offer legal advice on international adoption.

Further information and contact points can be found on the website of the Federal Office of Justice (in German only).

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