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Procedure descriptions

Adoption - Requesting access to the file

As an adopted person, you can inspect your placement file to obtain information about your origin and life history. This only applies if the interests of other persons concerned, especially the birth parents, do not conflict and prevail.

You will be assisted by a specialist from the adoption agency.

You can also inspect your files at the registry office.

The records and documents on each placement are kept for 100 years from the date of birth of the child.

Responsible department

  • the adoption agency
  • the registry office



If you would like to view the placement files:

You have

  • adopted and at least 16 years old, or
  • Adoptive parents and your adopted child whose records you wish to inspect are not yet 16 years old.

If you wish to inspect the files at the registry office:

You can inspect the civil status register at the registry office:

  • the adoptive parents,
  • their parents,
  • the child's legal representative and
  • the child itself, who is at least 16 years old.

This restriction ceases to apply upon the death of the child.

After the death of the child, the civil status register may be inspected:

  • Persons to whom the register entry relates and
  • their spouses, civil partners, ancestors and descendants.

Other persons have a right to inspect the register if they can credibly demonstrate a legal interest. In the case of the birth register or death register, the prima facie case of a legitimate interest is sufficient if the application is made by a sibling of the child or deceased person. Persons who are at least 16 years old are entitled to file an application.


If you would like to receive information about your origin, you must contact the adoption agency that placed you. The professionals will let you look at the files and inform you about your origin as well as general life circumstances such as the reasons for release of the birth parents. As a rule, the file also contains reports on your development which the adoption placement agency has prepared in the course of follow-up care.

Note: The right to inspect files is restricted insofar as overriding personal interests of the persons involved conflict with this. In that case, sensitive areas are usually covered.

If you wish, the professionals will try to establish contact with your birth parents. If your family of origin also wishes to establish contact with you, they will usually arrange this.

The adoption agency also tries to find an appropriate individual solution for the birth parents and siblings from the family of origin. There is no right to inspect files.

To inspect the civil status register, it is advisable to make an appointment for your personal appearance at the registry office. You can also apply for information in writing, by fax or - if the municipality concerned offers this - online.



Required documents

Identity card


  • Information from the adoption agency: free of charge
  • Information or inspection of a civil status register: EUR 10.00
  • Information or inspection of the collective file of the registry office: EUR 20.00



Legal basis

Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB)

  • § 1758 Offenbarungs- und Ausforschungsverbot

Adoptionsvermittlungsgesetz (AdVermiG)

  • § 9b Vermittlungsakten

Personenstandsgesetz (PStG)

  • § 62 (PStG) Urkundenerteilung, Auskunft, Einsicht
  • § 63 (PStG) Benutzung in besonderen Fällen

§ 5 der Verordnung des Innenministeriums zur Durchführung des Personenstandsgesetzes (PStG-DVO) (Erhebung von Gebühren und Auslagen) in Verbindung mit Anlage 1 (Gebührenverzeichnis)

Release note

machine generated, based on the German release by: Sozialministerium Baden-Württemberg, 12.07.2023


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