What makes you want to adopt
Adoptive parents and adopted child know each other:
- Stepchild adoption
- Successive adoption
- Relative adoption
- Foreign adoption
Adoptive parents and birth parents know each other:
- Open adoption
- Half open adoption
- Incognito adoption
If you are married or live in a registered civil partnership and your spouse or partner already has a child whom you would like to adopt with all rights and obligations, you can apply for a stepchild adoption. Both parents must agree to the adoption. Stepchild adoption is also possible if you are not married or live in a registered partnership, but live in a permanent partnership with your partner. A stable cohabitation is accepted if you either live together for four years or live together as parents of a common child. If one of the partners is married to a third party, there is usually no stable cohabitation.
If your partner has already adopted a child in a marriage or civil partnership, you can also apply for adoption in a second step. This applies in particular to cases in which partners in a civil partnership want to adopt a child, as joint adoption is not legally possible in these cases. The procedure for adoption and successive adoption can then be operated in parallel.
If relatives die or for some other reason are unable to care for their child, you can take the child into your family and adopt them. Here, too, the consent of the existing parents for adoption is required.
Parents with custody can designate relatives as guardians for their child in their will or inheritance contract in advance.
In a foreign adoption, you adopt an unknown child. This is only possible if an adoption agency has judged you as suitable and has suggested you as adoptive parents for the child. Spouses can only adopt a child jointly. If you are not married, you can only have a child on your own. In the case of a civil partnership, however, there is the possibility of successive adoption by the life partner. Children from Germany or abroad can be adopted. Note that only adoption agencies are authorized to place children for adoption, but not lawyers, notaries or acquaintances.
In an international adoption, you adopt a child who is ordinarily resident abroad. To do this, you need to contact a foreign exchange.
A characteristic of open adoption is that the birth and adoptive parents know each other personally (by name and, if necessary, with other personal data).
Half open adoption
In the case of a half-open adoption, the birth parents have the opportunity to get in touch with the adoptive parents through the respective adoption agency. For example, letters can be exchanged.
Incognito adoption means that birth and adoptive parents do not get to know each other and do not make contact with one another.
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