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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Replacing a parent's consent to adoption


You want to give your child up for adoption, the child also agrees, but the required consent of the other parent is missing? Then the family court can replace this lack of consent in certain exceptional cases.

The replacement of consent is intended to prevent significant negative effects on the child concerned if he or she cannot be adopted. Slight disadvantages do not justify the replacement of consent to adoption.

If a parent is indifferent to the child, the Youth Welfare Office must inform him or her that a replacement of consent is possible. It must point out to the parent that the family court may only replace the consent after 3 months after the instruction.

This instruction is not required if the whereabouts of the other parent are not known and cannot be determined in 3 months despite the efforts of the Youth Welfare Office.

This advice shall not be provided if:

  • the child has been in foster care for some time in the family it wants to adopt, and
  • if admitted to the parent's household, serious harm to the child would be expected.

In cases where, for example, you as a mother exercise sole parental authority, the Youth Welfare Office must advise the father on his legal options. This means, for example, a reference to the possibility of the father applying for sole parental care of the child.

A replacement of a parent's consent to adoption is possible:

  • if the child is indifferent to the child or grossly violates his or her duties towards the child for a longer period of time,
  • if the child concerned would suffer particularly serious (disproportionate) disadvantages if adoption does not take place,
  • if that parent has been particularly seriously in breach of parental responsibilities and it can therefore be assumed that the child will never live in that parent's household,
  • if one of the parents suffers from a particularly serious mental illness or a particularly serious mental or emotional disability and for this reason is permanently unable to care for and educate the child, and
  • if the child's development would be seriously endangered if adoption did not take place.

No further documentation is required.

As a rule, you will incur costs for family court proceedings to replace consent to adoption.
You do not have to pay anything for the tasks of the Youth Welfare Office in the procedure.

  • Consent to adoption can be replaced by the family court at the earliest 5 months after the birth of the child.
  • If the family court is to replace the consent because the child is indifferent to the parent, this can be done at the earliest 3 months after instruction by the Youth Welfare Office, but in no case earlier than 5 months after the birth of the child.

Processing usually takes several months.

  • Time-limit complaint (1 month)
  • The applicant child is entitled to appeal against the refusal, and the parent concerned against the replacement.

Contact the Youth Welfare Office. Only after you have been instructed can the family court replace consent.

Forms available: No
Written form required: Yes
Informal application possible: No
Personal appearance required: No

Online services available: No

  • The application does not require any special form. It can be submitted in writing to the locally competent family court or declared to be the record of the legal application office.
  • Only the child himself or herself is entitled to apply:
    • For a child who has not yet reached the age of 14, the legal representative requests the replacement of the parent's consent on behalf of the child. If the child has reached the age of 14 and is not legally incapacitated, he or she must apply for the replacement himself.
  • The Family Court
    • involves the parent whose consent is to be replaced,
    • appoints procedural counsel for the child, if necessary,
    • listens to the Youth Welfare Office and, if necessary, involves it at its own request,
    • decides by decision whether it replaces the consent of a parent.
  • The decision shall be notified to the parties together with information on the right to appeal; it will be served on the one whose declared will it does not conform.  
  • The procedure must be legally concluded before a decision can be taken on an application for acceptance. The replacement of consent shall take effect upon the entry into force of the decision.

Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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