The Adoption Law of the Federal Republic in 1977 was fundamentally redesigned. Since then it has only a few changes, most recently on the occasion of the reform of the entire children’s law in 1998. The new regulations were essentially the prosecution of illegal practices in the adoption placement, in particular the adoption of foreign children, and – on the basis of a decision by the Federal Constitutional Court – to strengthen the involvement of such fathers, not with the mother of the child.
The adoption of substantive law, the conditions and effects of adoption are regulated, is part of the family law provisions of the Civil Code (§ § 1741 to 1766 BGB). For the adoption of adults, there are also some special provisions (Sections 1767 to 1772 BGB). Jurisdictional, procedural and penalty provisions are contained in an independent adoption agency law (see: adoption agency).
The millennia-old legal institution of adoption was up in the 20th Century primarily an instrument in favor of alternative family childless couples or single person in order to provide an heir to the house or yard, business or assets or over – often more important – the family continues, the “sex” is. Only since a few decades by way of an adoption as “poor but gifted children by nature a great boon in material as in spiritual terms” proved to be so in the interests of the children given greater weight. Today is the issue of assistance for parentless children who are orphaned or socially actually are, in almost all jurisdictions in the world come to the fore. The interests of the adoptive parents should only play a minor role. General Artig clause states that resulted in the initial provision of our adoption laws, an acceptance that as a child was only allowed “if it in the best interests of the child and it is expected that between the Answer and the child with a parent-child relationship” ( Section 1741 BGB). All other provisions of the adoption laws are subordinate to this.
The adopted child is determined by the so-called adoption, marital child in the new family. All relationships to family of origin will be irrevocably closed. The adoption is done by a decision of the guardianship court, which together with the youth has to examine whether they are in the interests of the child. To eliminate possible errors, the court should order a reasonable adoption care preceded the rule at least one year (Section 1744 BGB).
Spouses may, with a few exceptions, only to adopt jointly. The adoption by a single person has the legal requirements of her as well. It notes, however, in practice, the adoption agency in Germany, rather the exception, because of the still prevailing traditional family picture in our society, which obviously also a lot of guardianship judges, professionals in the youth office and losing parents, the principle of co-decision in choosing the adoptive parents , nor attach. In addition, the improved legal and physical protection of the adoptive child for the preference for married couples run into the field.
The lower age limit for adoptive parents to 25 and 21 years for married couples or 25 years for a single person has been reduced to ensure that infants and toddlers as young parents to be (Section 1743 BGB). An upper age limit knows the German adoption law, unlike many foreign jurisdictions do not. The socio-educational practice, however, from the requirement of the legislature after a natural parent-child relationship that infants and young children are not taught to adoptive parents should be much older than 35 to 40 years. That includes older couples do not take the option of adoption that result, however, that such exchanges candidates only older school-age children or adolescents to absorb propose.
Regardless of whether a child to be inside or outside an existing marriage were born, must have been a decision by the Federal Constitutional Court in 1995, always both biological parents consent to adoption, even if they are not holders of custody (§ 1747 BGB). Even the child’s consent must explain if it is 14 years old. His consent must be in addition to his legal representative to be confirmed (Section 1746 BGB).
If the natural parents of a child despite search can not be found or because of severe mental disorders especially not in a position to make a declaration of consent, consent can be waived altogether. One replacement of consent by a court order requires it not. In particular, the protection of mothers of newborn children for the submission of consent form a vesting period of eight weeks after the birth of the child mandatory (Section 1747 BGB). They should be preserved before, hasty decisions. Only if the parents are not married and the father are not holders of custody, can this even before the birth of the child’s consent declaration. The consent must be notarised. They are irrevocable. They will be invalidated only if the adoption application withdrawn or rejected in force the child is not within three years was adopted (Section 1750 BGB).
Under certain circumstances, the consent of parents or a parent by a decision of the guardianship court to be replaced when the child by the failure of adoption would create a significant disadvantage. Reasons for the replacement of legal consent, for example, that biological parents toward their child behaved that their parental responsibilities over a longer period of time, or in particularly serious way violated, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse or inadequate supply (Section 1748 BGB). The consent of the father of a child, outside of an existing marriage was born and at no time had custody of the holder, can already be replaced if the child adoption without a significant disadvantage without the other conditions set out in the law requires .
The repeal of an adoption is nearly impossible. Has the consent of the biological parents are not present or is it by mistake, fraud or a threat has been obtained, it may be through a judicial decision, the adoption be undone, but only if the the child does not preclude (Sections 1760 to 1762 BGB). Moreover, the adoption of no longer than three years ago. Frequent cancellation proceedings are taken on the basis permanently shattered relationships in the adoptive family in the interest of the child may be necessary. In addition, there must, however, that by repealing a reassessment should be able to adoption or the child in his family of origin can return. In comparison to the total number of adoptions, which in recent years at around 8000 per year, is the annual rate of repealed adoptions with less than 1% low.
In the public and the media are always scandalous cases of trafficking of children adopted from South America, Asia and the formerly Communist countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe discussed. In this particular branch of international human trafficking is now “prices” up to 50,000 euros demanded and paid. Offenses such as child abduction, bribery and forgery to play a serious role. The German legislature has responded with amendments to the Penal Code and the Adoption Law Mediation responded some time ago with an addition to the adoption of civil law provisions. The person who has a law or immoral agenda mediation or any other person charged or rewarded for it, may not adopt the child and must regularly with the removal of the child from the family expected, unless important reasons in the interest of child to speak in an exceptional case for his whereabouts.