Ahrens & Schwarz Kyiv

Adoption in Ukraine

Recognition of adoption in Germany

Children can be adopted abroad. This happens every day and is a normal day-to-day administrative matter. However, recognition in Germany without further verification requires, among other things, that the foreign court that made the adoption decision, based on the best interests of the child, has verified the suitability of both parents for adoption. If the parents have not been interviewed in person, their suitability has not been proven, and then they must go through the German procedure for the adoption to be recognized under German law.

If a minor child was adopted abroad or under foreign law, the adoption in Germany can be recognized by the family court or the district court. Upon application, the family court, as the competent authority, determines whether the adoption should also be recognized and valid under German law and whether the parent-child relationship between the child and its biological parents has been terminated.

Foreign adoption decisions may not contain the entire German procedure if they are recognized by law. Recognition of foreign adoptions depends on the similarity of adoption procedures. In principle, it is, if the procedures can be compared.

Conventional adoption procedures take place in almost the same way as in Ukraine. The same authorities, such as juvenile services, social services, etc., are involved in the verification of the suitability of the parents for adoption as in Germany. Final reports are also released from the competent bodies in the field of children, on the basis of which the courts make adoption decisions.

Therefore, the recognition of Ukrainian adoption decisions is purely formal in nature. In fact, there are no refusals.

For the recognition procedure, the adoption process must be accurately documented to facilitate recognition. Our lawyers will take care of this on the spot and provide you with all the documentation that our experienced specialist colleague can use to accompany the recognition process without any problems. You will receive everything properly and translated, usually by sworn translators in Germany.

This practically guarantees trouble-free recognition.

Sometimes you can hear that children’s services, acquaintances or lawyers are concerned about the non-recognition of adoption.

But this is completely unjustified.

We are not aware of a single case where the adoption decision was not recognized in Ukraine.

In fact, there is no such thing. Therefore, the fears are purely theoretical.

It is better to immediately ask about a specific case when adoption from Ukraine would not be recognized during the hearing of such objections.

As a rule, no one can report such cases. There are logical reasons for this.

If the recognition of adoption is refused, then there must be legal grounds for this. These are not arbitrary decisions. For this, foreign decisions would have to contradict German legal principles and values. German adoption law takes into account the best interests of the child. If everything was correct, then there would not even be a need to conduct a suitability test for parents.

And such legal reasons are incredible, because adoption in Ukraine takes place according to the same principles as in Germany. They are formalized, documented and defined by the legal framework. The court must evaluate each of the adopters personally. To determine whether people are suitable as parents, they have to make a personal impression on the court according to the German understanding. In addition to external criteria such as financial status, living conditions and health should also be assessed:

  • Ability to raise children;
  • Readiness and ability to integrate;
  • The ability to provide financially;
  • Social environment, as well as aspects of personal attitude towards a child who is not his biological child.

For this, each supposed parent must be heard personally.

All this is fully available in Ukrainian adoption procedures.

Even if an adoption should theoretically not be recognized for whatever reason, you can have the adoption carried out a second time in Germany.

We recommend that you consult our colleague, a lawyer in Hamburg, wich whom we work together since long years.

She has been a specialist lawyer in this field for many years and will be happy to provide legal support for the recognition of your adoption, as well as competently answer all your questions during the consultation.

You can also contact us directly.

Legal foundations

  • Adoption Law (AdWirkG), § 1, paragraph 2
  • Adoption Law (AdWirkG) § 2
  • Law on Court Costs in Family Matters (FamGKG) expense report no. 1710
  • Family Procedures and Non-Suitable Jurisdiction Act (FamFG) §§ 186-199
  • Act on Procedural Actions in Family Matters and Matters of Non-Suitable Jurisdiction (FamFG) § 101 No. 1
  • Adoption Law (AdWirkG), § 5 para. 1


240 euros at the moment
Status as of: 08/01/2022

Formal requirements:

Ukrainian adoption decisions, birth certificates and other documents must be apostilled in Ukraine so that they can be used in German legal agreements.

Then a sworn translator will make a translation into Ukrainian.

We do both for you. You will receive a complete package of documents from us, which you only need to submit for approval.

Competent body for adoption recognition:

The District Court (Family Court) has local and international jurisdiction in the judicial district in which the adoptive parents or the child reside or are registered. The district court of Schöneberg in Berlin is automatically authorized to decide on adoption.

Prerequisites for recognition of court decisions on adoption abroad:

1. The child must be a minor,

that is, the recognition procedure is permissible only if the child is under 18 years old at the time of adoption.

2. Application

It must be submitted to the responsible family court in writing in an arbitrary form. The application must contain:
Name, address, date of birth and citizenship of the child and adoptive parents. Date of adoption.

3. Necessary documents:

  • Decision on adoption in Ukraine;
  • Child’s birth certificate;
  • Detailed biographical data of the child, possibly confirmed by other documents, in the presence of social reports. If the social reports on the adopted child and you were made before the adoption, you must add them to your application;
  • Reports on suitability for adoption. If suitability reports were prepared before your adoption, you must attach them to your application;
  • Documents must be submitted in person;
  • Personal statement, signed by you, accompanying your application, which describes the progress of the foreign adoption process and, if it is not a stepchild adoption, the circumstances of the choice of the adopted child;
  • Proof of marital status. In the application, you must indicate your marital status. If you are, for example, married or in a civil partnership, you must provide a copy of your marriage or partnership certificate;
  • Passports. You must attach copies of your passport and, if applicable, the passports of your joint adopter and child with your application.

4. Formal requirements

The birth certificate and adoption certificate must be submitted in the form of a notarized copy of the original with an apostille and a translation made by a sworn translator.
All other Ukrainian documents must be submitted with a translation made by a sworn translator.

4. Formal requirements

The birth certificate and adoption certificate must be submitted in the form of a notarized copy of the original with an apostille and a translation made by a sworn translator.

All other Ukrainian documents must be submitted with a translation made by a sworn translator.

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