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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Applying for the adoption of an adult


You can accept (adopt) an adult person as a child if you want a parent-child relationship with the person and this is morally justified. This is accepted in particular if there is already a parent-child relationship between you as the adopter and the adult person; for example, in the case of a stepchild or foster child. If such a relationship does not yet exist, there must be such a strong emotional connection that a relationship similar to the parent-child relationship can be expected. In addition, the assumption must appear morally justified in view of the purpose pursued. This means that the request for acceptance must not violate a moral prohibition and/or pursue exclusively a substantive purpose, such as the avoidance of inheritance tax or the establishment of a right of residence.

In order to adopt the adult as a family member, you and the person concerned must file an application with the family court.

The adoption of adults is basically an adoption with a weak effect. This means that the family relationships of the adopted adult to his biological family are not abolished, only the newly created relationship with the adopters is added.

Under certain conditions and on request, adoption with further legal consequences, such as those applicable to the adoption of minors, is also possible. This is also referred to as a "full adoption" or adoption with a "strong effect". This would result in an almost complete legal integration of the adult into your family. This means that the family relationship and thus, among other things, all inheritance and maintenance obligations towards the biological parents are abolished. In the case of stepchild adoption, this does not apply to the continuing relationship to the remaining parent.

  • You may accept an adult as a child if the assumption is morally justified. In other words, the request for acceptance is based on an existing parent-child relationship or a comparably strong inner connection and does not violate a moral prohibition and/or does not exclusively pursue a material purpose. This is the case, for example, if the person to be adopted has already lived in your family as a minor child.
  • The adoption must not be opposed by the overriding interests of third parties, for example your biological children.
  • According to case law, as a rule, there should be an age gap (at least 15 years) corresponding to a parent-child ratio.
  • The applications and, if necessary, necessary consents (for example, of the spouses) must be in notarized form.
  • notarized application of the adopter and the person of legal age; applications shall not be subject to any condition or timing
  • if the adopter is married or partnered, a notarized declaration of consent of the spouse or life partner
  • if necessary, the family court may request any other necessary documents; for example, proof of civil status (such as birth or marriage certificates)

The following are required:

  • Notary fees
  • Legal expenses
  • lawyer's fees, if applicable

The respective amount depends on the individual case.

There is no deadline.

It is possible to file a complaint.

Contact the family court.

Forms available: No
Written form required: Yes
Informal application possible: No
Personal appearance necessary: No, not with regard to the submission to the court, but when notarizing the application before the notary (highly personal application).

Online services available: No

You must submit the necessary documents and the applications (acceptors and acceptors) in writing to the locally competent family court. You can also commission a notary with the submission.

The court then examines whether all the necessary conditions for adoption are met, such as:

  • what is the relationship to the person to be assumed
  • whether the assumption is morally justified
  • whether the adopter has reached the minimum age necessary for adoption (completion of the 21st or 25th year of life)
  • whether there is a sufficient age gap to the person to be assumed
  • whether overriding interests of third parties preclude adoption; for example, the biological children of the adopter or the person to be accepted or the parents of the person to be accepted.

To this end, the court hears, among other things, the parties involved and, if necessary, other persons.
If the conditions for an adult adoption are met, the court pronounces the acceptance of the adult by order.

Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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