Adoption_Hvid hånd_sort_hjerte

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
  • Adoption of a foreign child/adult
  • Adoption of a relative
  • 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 State Administration 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 (2016). 

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 (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 
  • grandchild
  • sibling
  • 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.


Appealsagainst decisions made by the State Administration may be submitted to the Danish National Board of Adoption.

Forms in English

Application for approval as adoptive parent

Health declaration - to be completed by applicant

Health certificate - to be completed by doctor

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Senest opdateret 25. apr 2017
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