Relative/kinship Adoption

Relative/kinship adoption occurrs when the adoptive child is related to their adoptive parents (e.g. nieces or nephews).

This mostly happens when the child’s biological parents cannot take care of him/her themselves. As a consequence, relatives adopt the child and become their legal guardians.

Depending on where the child lives, relative adoptions may be domestic adoptions as well as intercountry adoptions:

If the child to be adopted lives in Austria, a notary can set up an adoption contract, which has to be filed with the district or regional court. If the adoption is in the interest of the child and if the biological parents agree to give up their child for adoption, the court will allow the adoption.

If the child lives abroad, the adoption procedure has to follow the local regulations. The authorities abroad will request documents issued in Austria from the related adoption applicants; in particular, they require proof that they were reviewed by the authorities and proved to be suitable for adopting a child. This is the responsibility of the Austrian child and youth welfare system. The adoption procedure per se has to be handled in the child’s home country and has to be decided by a court. In case the country in question is a contracting state of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, all the regulations listed in said convention apply, also for a relative adoption. Authorities abroad will ascertain if an adoption is in the child’s best interest.