What Are The Requirements To Adopt A Child?
Are you interested in adopting a child? If you are, you are most likely interested in what are the requirements to adopt a child, either from your country or a different country.
Table of Contents
What Is Adoption?
Adoption is a legal act endorsed by the court, which establishes a relationship of kinship between the adoptive parents and an adopted child. After an adoption between adoptive parents and adoptive children, there are similar rights and obligations to biological parents and children. Also, the adopted child enters into family relations with the relatives of the adopted parents.
Types of Adoption
An adoption can be national or international.
An adoption is national when the both the adopted child and adoptive parents or adoptive family have the residence in the same country.
An adoption is considered international in the following cases:
- The adopted child has the residence in one country, and the adoptive parents have their residence abroad.
- The adoptive parents have the residence in one country, and the adopted child has his residence abroad.
To adopt a child, the persons who are interested should address themselves to the central adoption authorities in their countries. In certain countries, the adoption of children may start a bit late due to legislation or because the central authorities delegated some of the attributions to non-governmental organizations.
Read more on How Do I Tell My Child that He Was Adopted?
What Children Can Be Adopted?
A child can be adopted only until the age of 21 years. As an exception, the law provides the possibility of adopting a child who has acquired the exercise ability up to the age of 21, provided that:
- The adoptive parents are the persons who raised him.
- The child who will be adopted has cohabited with the adoptive parents not less than 3 years before submitting the application for adoption.
The minors who have an adoption status can be adopted. This status can be acquired by:
- Children who were abandoned by parents.
- Children who are orphans after the death of both parents or of a parents in the case of single mothers.
- Children who were left without parents as a result of decaying parental rights.
Children will be able to be adopted after the exhaustion of all (re) integration measures in their biological family or family of relatives.
When Is Adoption Forbidden?
Adoption isn`t allowed:
- Between brothers.
- A child by several adopters, unless this is done by both spouses simultaneously (by a couple who adopts together).
- Adoption of siblings by different people or families (depending on the country`s laws).
- Adoption by which the brothers are separated, except the cases when this requirement is contrary to the best interests of the child or when one of the brothers cannot be adopted for health reasons (for example, one of the brothers is ill with evolutionary tuberculosis, schizophrenia).
What People Have the Right to Adopt?
People who are entitled to adopt children as those who are married, as well as those who aren`t married, if they meet the conditions imposed by law. Together, only people who are married can adopt children.
People who can adopt children are those who reached the age of 21 and are at least 18 years older than the adopted child, but not more than 48 years.
In case that the child is adopted by both spouses, it`s enough that only one of the spouses is aged 25 years.
The law also offers the possibility for the court to consent the adoption even if the difference in age between the adopted child and the adoptive parent is less than 18 years, but in no case less than 16 years.
The following persons have priority in adopting the child being cared for:
- Guardian or curator.
- Home educational parent of family type.
- Professional parenting assistant.
- This right of priority is lost if the child is adopted by his relatives.
What Person Cannot Adopt?
Persons who aren`t able to adopt are:
- Those who didn`t received an adoption certificate, except the cases when adopting a child by the husband or wife of the biological parent.
- Deprived of parental rights. The person will be considered deprived of his parental rights when there`s a final court decision that has become final. If the person has been reinstated in parental rights, he can adopt children. – Read more!
- Those suffering from mental illness or other diseases that make parental rights and other obligations impossible, like: HIV, AIDS, mental illnesses, chronic alcoholism, narcotics, chronic somatic diseases which had led to serious or accentuated disability, oncological diseases, viral hepatitis.
- Those who try to escape from their parental responsibility, including the payment of the maintenance allowance for biological children.
- Who have previously adopted children but haven`t exercised their responsibilities as they should and are deprived of the exercises of these parental rights, or the child is taken out of their own care by virtue of a court order, without denying rights.
- Those who lack the duties of guardians or curator due to inadequate performance of obligations.
- Those who presented false documents or info for the approval of adoption.
- Those who have been convicted of committing intentional crimes: against the life or health of another person, against freedom, honor and dignity of another person, related to sexual life, against family or children.
Also, person who cannot adopt a child are also those who are less than 18 years old or with up to 48 years more than the child who want to adopt.
Read more on When It`s Best to Adopt a Child?
Persons who cannot adopt together (as a couple) a child are also those who live in concubinage (not married). This prohibition refers to the situation when people living together want to adopt one and the same child together. However, they might adopt different children if they meet the requirements imposed by law.
What Documents Are Needed for Adoption?
- A copy of the identity document.
- A copy of the birth certificate.
- A copy of the marriage certificate (when a couple wants to adopt a child); or a copy of the divorce certificate if you are divorced). – Click here for more!
- A certificate from the place of work regarding the position held and the amount representing your salary for the last 12 months. If you aren`t working, you should present a copy of the income statement.
- An authenticated copy of the act confirming his right of ownership or the right of use on a living space.
- Criminal record.
- A medical certificate that states that you aren`t suffering from any mental disease or other diseases which make it impossible for you to fulfill your parental rights or obligations issued by the medical institution.
Note: Depending on the country where you live, the list of documents required for adoption may be different.
Can an Adopted Child Be Returned to Birth Parents?
If the process of adoption has legally ended, then the process is irrevocable. Still, as set by the state law, for a time period after the birth of the baby, the child`s biological mother may be able to decline to sign papers giving up her parental rights to the child; this act is also known as “reclaim.” Certain states offer the biological mothers 2 days, some 1 month, while others up to 6 months.
Among the most essential services that you should watch for is the “red flags” service. This will show if the birth mother might be at risk of reclaiming the child or changing her mind regarding the adoption disruption.