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Procedure descriptions

Adoption - apply to become an adoptive parent

If you would like to adopt a child, you must apply to an adoption agency.

Responsible department

The adoption agencies of the youth welfare offices and independent organisations

The following independent adoption agencies are recognised adoption agencies in Baden-Württemberg:



  • Physical and mental health
  • Sufficient living space
  • Financial security
  • Minimum age:
    • For married couples, one of the spouses must be at least 25 years old and the other at least 21 years old. Married couples may only adopt a child together.
    • In the case of unmarried couples, only one of the two can adopt a child. The minimum age in this case is 25. It is possible for the other partner to also adopt the child after the first partner has adopted it (successive adoption).
    • In the case of children aged 14 and over, the child must consent to the adoption.

The adopted child should be able to grow up in a stable social environment.

Adoption law does not stipulate a maximum age for applicants. The age difference between the adoption applicant and the child to be adopted should correspond to a natural age difference.


You can find out more without obligation at a themed evening organised by the adoption agency.

If you have decided that you want to adopt a child, you must contact an adoption agency. After a counselling interview or several interviews, you will receive a questionnaire.

You hand in the completed questionnaire together with the necessary documents to the adoption agency. In further interviews, at least one of which will take place at your home, the adoption agency will examine your application and the reasons given for adoption. For example, information on whether a child would fit into your family is important in determining your suitability. These and similar issues play an important role. Other questions relate, for example, to your income, age and health.

After a thorough assessment, the adoption agency will decide whether you are suitable to adopt a child. You will be informed of the result of this assessment in the form of a letter.



Required documents

As a rule:

  • completed questionnaire
  • Curriculum vitae with photos
  • Transcript from the register of births and marriages
  • Certificates of citizenship
  • Proof of financial situation
  • Certificates of good conduct
  • Health certificates

The adoption agency may request further documents.


  • for the suitability test for the adoption of a child in Germany: none
  • for the aptitude test for adopting a child from abroad: depending on the individual case

Costs may be incurred by applying for the necessary documents from the relevant authorities, e.g a certificate of good conduct from the Federal Central Criminal Register.


Please note: You have no legal claim to the placement of a child.

You can only apply for a child from abroad

to the central adoption office of the state youth welfare office or to authorised foreign placement agencies (Adoption: Kommunalverband für Jugend und Soziales Baden-Württemberg).

The suitability check should be carried out by the youth welfare office responsible for your place of residence.

Legal basis

Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB)

  • §§ 1741 - 1772 Annahme als Kind

Gesetz über die Vermittlung und Begleitung der Adoption und über das Verbot der Vermittlung von Ersatzmüttern - Adoptionsvermittlungsgesetz (AdVermiG)

Gesetz über das Verfahren in Familiensachen und in den Angelegenheiten der freiwilligen Gerichtsbarkeit (FamFG)

  • § 101 Adoptionssachen
  • §§ 186 - 199 Verfahren in Adoptionssachen

Einführungsgesetz zum Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuche (BGBEG)

  • Art. 22 Annahme als Kind

Release note

machine generated, based on the German release by: 03.06.2024 Sozialministerium Baden-Württemberg


Bürger- und Standesamt (Bürgeramt)
Grabenstraße 15
89522 Heidenheim an der Brenz
Fax (0 73 21) 3 23-33 32