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Intercountry adoptions

The Office is a central authority under the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption of 29 May 1993 (hereinafter only as the “Convention”), which serves as the basis for the process of international adoption. The Office cooperates only with the countries which are signatories to the Convention, owing to which the process has received certain guarantees. The Office facilitates adoption in two directions, namely:

  1. Adoption to a foreign country;
  2. Adoption from a foreign country.

What is an intercountry adoption?

In order to determine whether the situation qualifies as international adoption, there is a crucial concept of the “habitual residence of the applicant”, i.e. where the applicant works, actually lives and has background. The applicant’s nationality or their permanent residence is not important in this respect. Under the Convention, international adoption also includes the case where a Czech national residing in France wishes to adopt a child living in the territory of the Czech Republic. Similarly, if Bulgarian nationals residing in the territory of the Czech Republic wish to adopt a child with a habitual residence in Bulgaria, they may do so exclusively through the Office.

Scope of the Office’s authority

The main field of activity of the Office is arranging adoptions of the children with their habitual residence in the Czech Republic towards foreign countries. Since the implementation of the Convention, i.e. since 2000, the Office has facilitated more than 500adoptions of children aged from 1 up to 9 years to 11, mostly European countries. The most common destinations are Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and Italy.

The second part of the Office’s agenda (arranging adoptions from abroad) currently remains behind. The reason for this mainly lies in the facts that establishing cooperation with other states is complicated and other states frequently lack interest. As a consequence, the number of states from which it is possible to adopt is minimal. Another factor comprises the high cost of the process, which often discourages potential applicants. Despite these facts, the Office has recently made substantial efforts to strengthen activities in this area. Currently, it is thus possible to apply for adoption of a child from the Philippines and Bulgaria, where first Czech applicants have already been put on the list. As for the Philippines, a child adoption to the Czech Republic has already been successfully arranged. As for African countries, one may consider Burkina Faso or Burundi, which are prepared to receive applications of Czech applicants.

Within the agenda of Intercountry adoptions, the Office provides clients with information on Czech law and with other general information related to these issues. Within Intercountry adoptions, the Office has also been tasked to facilitate and monitor the adoption proceedings, notifying the relevant public authorities upon the completion.

When arranging adoptions, the Office’s activity consists in keeping the records of children suitable for Intercountry adoptions and searching for suitable adoptive parents for these children.

The adoption may only be arranged upon the application submitted by a natural person interested in Intercountry adoption. In the course of arranging Intercountry adoptions, the Office cooperates solely with the central authorities or properly authorised organisations.

Currently, the Office facilitates intercountry adoptions mainly in the case of applicants residing abroad who wish to adopt a child from the Czech Republic. Annually, the Office facilitates approximately 50 intercountry adoptions.

The process of intercountry adoption is highly complex and formal aiming at protecting the best interest of the child. Basic rules of this process are provided for in the Convention. Nevertheless, its specific conditions differ depending on the circumstances and legal regulations in the countries cooperating with the Office in particular cases.

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Office for International Legal Protection of Children

Silingrovo namesti 3/4
602 00 Brno, Czech Republic

tel.: 00420 542 215 522

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Office hours for consultations

Wed9:00 - 17:00

Other hours for individual consultations can be arranged with prior telephone agreement with competent lawyer.

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