ADOPTION LAWS AND PROCEDURES
The prime objective of adoption is to ensure the child's well-being and personal development. The Swiss Civil Code sets the requirements for adoption. However, the other rules are defined by various international agreements on adoption. There are institutions accredited by the Confederation operate as intermediaries between adopting parents and adopted children.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ADOPTION
A married couple or an unmarried person may adopt a child provided that this is in the child's overriding interest. One may also adopt one's spouse's child. For any type of adoptions described above should meet certain requirements:
- Couples married for 5 years or over 35;
- Children's consent;
- Deadline for assessing the adoption.
The jurisdiction in the field of adoptions lies with the central cantonal authority appointed by each Canton, which acts as an intermediary contact between the parents and the central Federal authority. Organising jurisdiction and procedure then only comes under the Canton in question.
- Persons wishing to bring a child into their home with a view to adopt, it should request the authorization to have the child placed with them. The jurisdiction for placing a child lies with the central authority of the place of residence of the adoptive parents.
- After one year, if the placement went well, the adoption is pronounced by the competent cantonal authority of the adoptive parent's domicile. The primary objective of adoption is
- the objective is to ensure the child's well-being and
- personal development.
The Swiss Civil Code sets the requirements for adoption. Other rules are defined by various international agreements on adoption. Institutions accredited by the Confederation operate as intermediaries between adopting parents and adopted children.
- Any adoption plan must be approved by the competent cantonal authority which carries out
- a social investigation and
- draws up a report on the parents,
- leading to a provisional authorisation for placement of the child.
- The parents may then take the necessary steps abroad, either personally or with the help of local institutions to advise them.
- In general, such independent institutions serve as intermediaries between the child to be adopted and its future parents.
- In case of international adoptions, one must ensure that an adoption pronounced abroad actually serves the child's overriding interest. However, the proof of consent of the biological parents, assessment of the child's interests by the competent authorities is essential.
- The duration of the child's placement is one year, together with a guardianship order.
- In the case of an international adoption based on the Hague Convention, an adoption pronounced abroad is acknowledged in Switzerland through a facilitated procedure. A wardship is also pronounced so as to provide the parents and child with support and follow-up.
- This wardship lasts for maximum 18 months.
- If the Hague Convention is not applicable for the country from which adoption is made then an adoption performed in the foreign country of residence or of origin of the adoptive parents may be acknowledged in Switzerland and recorded in the Swiss civil status registers.
- One pronounced, the adoption ruling is notified to the Registry Offices which enter a new record for the child.
EFFECT OF ADOPTION
In Switzerland, once the adoption has been pronounced, in most cases the adopted child is considered as any other of his parents' children. This is called a full adoption, which implies that there are no legal differences between an adopted child and the other children of the adopting parents.
When an adoption has been pronounced abroad and should be acknowledged in Switzerland because one of the parents is a Swiss national, the situation is different. If the country of origin has ratified the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, acknowledgement of the adoption is facilitated. Otherwise, the rules of private international law apply.