An adoption must always be in the best interest of the adoptee. This consideration and the future well-being of the adoptee is always the main consideration in all adoption cases.
Types of adoption:
- Adoption of a Danish child/adult - Stepchildadoption
- Adoption of a foreign child/adult - Foreign adoption
- Adoption of a relative - Family adoption or adoption of a foster child
- Adoption without consent
Adoption rules vary depending on the type of adoption.
All legal ties between the adoptee and the biological parents cease on adoption. This means, for instance, that the adoptee acquires inheritance rights from the adoptive parents and their relatives.
Adoption of a Danish or foreign child unrelated to the applicant(s)
Applicants who wish to be approved as adoptive parents must meet certain general requirements. In order to ensure and promote the welfare of the adoptive child, everyone who applies for adoption will be vetted by the Agency of Family Law before the Joint Council of Adoption (Adoptionssamrådet) determines whether or not the applicants can be approved.
Applicants who wish to adopt must attend a pre-adoption counselling course at least once. Participation in the course costs DKK 2,500 (2019).
You can read about which documents you must submit with the application at the bottom of this page.
Requirements for adoptive parents
The general requirements are:
- the age difference between child and applicant must not exceed 42 years
- the adoptive parents should have lived together for a minimum of 2½ years
- the adoptive parents’ physical and mental health must not be such that it could have a negative effect on the child’s circumstances
- the adoptive parents must be able to offer adequate housing
- the adoptive parents’ financial situation must be stable
- the adoptive parents must not have been convicted of any offences that may raise doubts as to whether they are suitable adopters
Further specific requirements may be applicable to different types of adoption.
Assessment and approval
The adoption application must include information on applicants’ income, assets and health. Applicants are also required to state whether they have been convicted of a crime.
The Joint Council of Adoption decides whether applicants can be approved as adoptive parents.
The Joint Council of Adoption consists of three members: a social worker, a physician and a legal officer.
If the Joint Council of Adoption decides that the general requirements have been met, the applicants may continue the adoption process.
Danish International Adoption (DIA) is in charge of placing foreign children with Danish adoptive families. Please see d-i-a.dk (website in Danish).
The Danish National Board of Adoption (Adoptionsnævnet) assigns Danish children for national adoption.
Adoption of relatives
Adoption of relatives refers to:
- child or adoptive child of a spouse
- niece or nephew
- child of parents to whom the applicants have developed a special relationship through close and long-term contact
Some of the ordinary requirements are waived for the adoption of relatives. The age difference between child and adoptive parents may, for instance, exceed 42 years, and approval as adoptive parents is not required.
Appeals against decisions made by the Agency of Family Law may be submitted to the Danish National Board of Adoption.
Application forms for Adoption
When you complete the application, you must attach the following documents:
- Health information - your own information
- Health Certificate - se below
- Asset statement
- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Tax certificate - available via SKAT's digital solution using NemID/MitID at skat.dk. If you do not use the digital solution and need to have a tax certificate signed, you can contact Skattestyrelsen on phone number 7222 2828
- Claim certificate from the State - available by calling Gældsstyrelsen on phone number 7015 7304
- Declaration of arrears from your municipality - available by calling the municipality's Citizen Service
- The Agency of Family Law can obtain a budget form when there is a need for further clarification of the financial circumstances. You can print the budget form, fill it in by hand and send it electronically or by post to the Agency of Family Law.
The health certificate must be completed by your own doctor, and the certificate must not be more than three months old when submitted to the Agency of Family Law. You must pay yourself to have the certificate drawn up.
When you fill in the digital form, you can attach the necessary documents electronically. If you are exempt from Digital Post in the public sector and you send a paper form, you must also send a copy of the documents.
When the application for approval as an adopter has been received at the Agency of Family Law, we will obtain criminal records and a statement from your municipality of residence as to whether the municipality is aware of conditions that could lead to a care permit not being issued. By signing the application form, you consent to the Agency of Family Law obtaining this information
Foreign documents must be attached in original or certified copy. They must also be attached in an authorized translation, unless the documents are in Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Icelandic, English or German.
It is a requirement that all foreign birth certificates are legalized in accordance with the normal procedure for legalization of family law documents.