Alternatives - adoption and foster child

Whether or not a couple wishes to undergo fertility treatment is a matter for them to decide on their own, after careful consultation and consideration.

Couples who decide against such treatment can try to adopt a child or take in a foster child.


In Germany, an average of 13 applicants wait for a child cleared for adoption. The chances of adopting small children and infants are rather low. Statistics in 2002 show that approximately 34 percent of all German adoptive children come from abroad. The responsible organisations for the placement are state-recognised and controlled organisations. No commercial agencies are permitted in Germany.

Contact details for couples who would like to adopt a child can be found at the adoption agencies of a youth welfare office, the central office of the state youth welfare office or a local or central office of some welfare associations such as Innere Mission, Deutscher Caritasverband, Sozialdienst Katholischer Frauen.

Foster children

Most Youth Welfare Offices are looking for ways to provide foster care for children with individuals or couples as these children cannot grow up with their biological parents temporarily or permanently,. The foster parents receive maintenance and child-care allowances; phased according to the age of the children and the requirements of parenting.

Adoptions often arise from foster care. In case of those who are already adults, it is only necessary to conclude a notarised adoption contract between the offering and the accepting parties, which the family court approves, if it can be proven that a genuine parent-child relationship has developed. A "full adoption" should definitely be applied for, so that the same effects take place as with the adoption of a minor, otherwise the adopted person is liable to support not only the adoptive parents, but also the natural parents. In general, there are no reservations against single parents, if they adopt adults.


More information about adoption

Personal counselling

If you want to know more or have questions, please contact a doctor or a pro familia counselling centre.

Doctors, social workers, psychologists and pedagogues shall be at your disposal as contact persons.

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