Intercountry adoption from the Czech Republic to a foreign country

Are your spouse and you Czech citizens living abroad for a long time and are interested in adopting a child from the Czech Republic?

Are your spouse and you foreign nationals living abroad and interested in adopting a child from the Czech Republic?

If any of these questions apply to your situation, we can help you. However, each case is different, so we recommend you contact a member of the Office to discuss the specifics of your situation and the specific foreign country.




Situations may arise in a child's life where the child cannot grow up in the care of their parents for various reasons. It is, therefore, essential that children whose parents are unable or unwilling to care for them are provided with the most appropriate possible solution, i.e., substitute family care. Here you will find information on the three types of substitute care.

However, the Civil Code also provides for another institution: adoption.

Adoption is fundamentally different from the previous institutes of substitute care. It is now seen as a form of parenthood, not as substitute care for a child. Adoption is understood as the adoption of another person as one's own. The relationship between the adopted child and the adoptive parents is the same as that between parents and children as if the child had been born into the family. In contrast, the relationship of the adopted child to the original biological family ceases to exist.

The institution of adoption is quite complex, and many conditions must be met for a child to be adopted.

Adoption in the Czech Republic

Adoption can be divided into two groups - facilitated adoption and non-facilitated adoption.

Facilitated adoption means that the person of the adopter must be adequately screened and placed in the register kept by the regional authority or, in the case of an adoption of a child from abroad, by the Office. For more on this, see the chapter Adoption in an international context. The regional authority then, for the specific child who has been without proper parental care, selects suitable adoptive parents from the register.

In the case of a non-facilitated adoption, the child's parents determine the person to be adopted by their consent before the court. Adoption is not facilitated even if the child is adopted by the spouse of the parent of the child or a relative of the child, or a person close to the child.

Below is a summary of the conditions for adopting a child in the Czech Republic. If you wish to obtain comprehensive information, don't hesitate to get in touch with the relevant employee of the Office.

Conditions under which a child can be adopted

The fundamental prerequisite for adopting a child is the fulfillment of the child's adoptability.

The Civil Code sets the parents' consent to adoption as a fundamental condition. Accordingly, the parents consent to the child's adoption on the record before the court.

In practice, situations may arise where, for example, the parents are unknown, have died, show no interest in the child, or have been deprived of their parental responsibility. In these cases, it is not necessary for the parents themselves to give consent, but the consent of the parents must be replaced by the consent of the entitled person (guardian or tutor).

The child to be adopted must also consent to the adoption. Children over 12 years of age must consent in person on the record before the court. For children under 12 years of age, consent is given by a guardian appointed for that purpose by the court. However, younger children must also be made aware of the situation, and their opinion must be sought appropriately.

Person of the adopter

Osvojitelem se může stát pouze osoba zletilá, svéprávná, bezúhonná, fyzicky i mentálně zdravá, aby byla schopna zajistit řádnou péči o dítě. Mezi osvojitelem a osvojovaným dítětem musí být přiměřený věkový rozdíl, alespoň 16 let. Není možné, aby dítě osvojil příbuzný v přímé linii např. prarodič. Osvojení je také zakázáno mezi sourozenci.

Osvojitelem mohou být manželé, jeden z manželů, případně i osoba žijící sama. Společně mohou dítě osvojit pouze manželé, v současnosti je v České republice vyloučeno, aby dítě společně osvojili registrovaní partneři.

Other conditions

Before the adoption can take place, the child must be in the care of the prospective adoptive parents at their expense. This care is called pre-adoption care.

The purpose of pre-adoption care is not only to prove their cohabitation but also to ensure that the subsequent adoption is genuinely in the child's best interest.

Pre-adoption care lasts for at least six months and must be decided by the court. It is only after the six-month time a petition for adoption can be filed, which the court also decides.

Adoption in an international context

Basic principles

The term intercountry adoption should be understood as cases where a child habitually living in one state has to be relocated to another state either after or for their adoption. The decisive criterion for intercountry adoption is the child's and applicants’ habitual residence. So put, once a child changes their habitual residence from one country to another by adoption or for adoption, it is an intercountry adoption. Citizenship or registered permanent residence do not play any role just habitual residence of the child and the applicants.

Intercountry adoption is a supportive solution for children without proper parental care, for whom a suitable form of substitute family care could not be found in the Czech Republic.

The process of facilitation of intercountry adoption is regulated by the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption of 29 May 1993 (hereinafter referred to as "the 1993 Convention"). The 1993 Convention provides a clear framework for this process, prevents child trafficking and other abusive practices and provides that in each Contracting State there is a designated central authority (or accredited body) which is authorized to mediate intercountry adoption.

Register of the Office

For facilitation of intercountry adoptions, the Office maintains a double register - the register of children for whom substitute family care in the Czech Republic could not be arranged and a register of applicants from abroad who are interested in adopting a child from the Czech Republic.

Regional authorities make children's records available to the Office and the records are subject to legal and psychosocial assessment. The applicants' files are sent to the Office by the central authorities, or the authorized bodies of the state concerned. They are also subject to an assessment to include or not to include the applicants in the register.


The procedure is followed by matching, i.e., selecting applicants for a particular child. The Office places great emphasis on the principle of the best interests of the child. Therefore, it sets the most suitable applicants from the entire register for a particular child. This selection is based on the child's and applicants’ file.

After usually 2 to 3 couples or single applicants are selected for a particular child, they are presented to the Advisory Board.

The Advisory Board is an advisory body of the Office and recommends ranking the proposed applicants. Based on the recommendation of the Advisory Board, the Office contacts the applicants who ranked first. Communication between the applicants and the the Office is not direct but through the central authority or accredited body. If the selected applicants decline to be paired, the next pair in the ranking is contacted.

Suppose the applicants confirm their interest in meeting the child. In that case, the Office starts planning the interaction between the child and the applicants in the Czech Republic. The purpose of the interaction is to get to know and establish a relationship between the child and the applicants.

Meeting the child

The interaction consists of several mandatory meetings and lasts approximately eight weeks. Suppose everything goes smoothly without complications, and the applicants are interested in adopting the child. In that case, they file a petition with the Municipal Court in Brno to take custody of the child before the adoption. This court is the only one in the Czech Republic authorized to decide on pre-adoption care abroad.

Once the court has decided on the transfer of the child to pre-adoptive care, the future adoptive parents are issued the child's travel document, and the entire family can leave the Czech Republic for home.


The actual adoption of the child takes place abroad, i.e., in the country of the prospective adoptive parents' habitual residence. Before this can happen, however, other conditions must be met, such as a certificate of common cohabitation or a decision of the Office on consent to adoption. As soon as the Office receives information from the central authority or the accredited body that the adoption has taken place, it informs the competent authorities in the Czech Republic and requests the issuance of a new birth certificate for the child. The adoptive parents are then registered on the child's birth certificate in place of the parents.

Development reports

The Office regularly monitors the child's development in the family through the so-called development reports, which are prepared by the relevant social welfare department abroad. The development reports are sent to the Office by the central authority or, where appropriate, by the accredited body until the child reaches the age of 18, i.e., even after the adoption has become final abroad.

Cases that do not fall within competencies of the Office

The Office cannot assist you if you are a citizen of the Czech Republic with habitual residence abroad and you are interested in adopting a child either in the country of your habitual residence or from another country (other than the Czech Republic).

In this case, you will have to contact the competent authority in your country of habitual residence, which will provide you with the necessary information.

Suppose you are a foreigner living in the Czech Republic for a long time and are interested in adopting a child in the Czech Republic. In that case, The Office is again not the competent authority in these cases. However, this is the competent regional authority of the municipality of the place of your residence in the Czech Republic, which will provide you with the necessary information.