Adoption In France: What Are The Steps To Follow?

There are many reasons why a couple may choose to adopt a child. In general, this decision is made because of the inability to procreate, altruism, or the choice of a mixed family. In any case, in France, the adoption procedure is free. However, it is quite complex and requires, on average, five years of patience. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn about the adoption process in France.

The conditions required


The General Council makes the opening of an adoption procedure of the department of residence of the adopting couple. Any person wishing to adopt must meet the conditions required by the child welfare service (ASE). The latter evaluates the application of the adopting party through the following criteria

    • Proof of the stability of the marriage: the couple must have been married for more than 2 years
    • Confirmation of the maturity of the couple: each of the adopters must be at least 28 years old
    • Verification of the civil status of the future parents (approval file and civil status questionnaire)
    • The awareness of the adopters following an information meeting organized by the ASE
    • The psychological examination of the couple by professional psychologists and educators

The study of the social framework and the infrastructures of reception of the child made by the ASE.

A positive opinion of each of the above-mentioned selection criteria is a prerequisite for obtaining the approval certificate. The duration of this social investigation is 9 months, starting from the request for approval. This is the starting point for the adoption procedure itself.

The adoption procedure

Entrusting a child to the wrong couple can deprive him of his fundamental rights or be fatal. In this case, the responsibility would fall on the administration. This is the essence of the complexity of the child adoption process. Once the adopting couple is validated by the ASE, the adoption procedure can begin.

Step 1: the choice of the child

Currently, the notion of a mixed family encourages adoption abroad. This is where the future parents confirm the profile of the child they want. To do this, they make their criteria of choice known. Generally, they insist on the physical description (sex, age, skin color, eyes, hair). However, in some particular cases, some altruistic parents have a preference for orphans or disabled children.

Step 2: the first meeting


Taking into account the above-mentioned selection criteria, the parental application is submitted to the family council for wards of the state. The future parents are then registered on a long waiting list. As soon as the criteria are validated, the administration organizes the first meeting between the child and the future parents. Following this, the ASE will evaluate the meeting by confirming the opinion of the future parents, but especially the first impression of the child. This examination is very delicate. A negative opinion from one of the parties will cancel the adoption procedure.

Step 3: the trial period

If the first meeting is conclusive, the ASE authorizes a trial period of 6 months. During this period, the ASE monitors the child’s adaptation. To do so, the ASE regularly visits the foster family to observe the atmosphere during a family meal or the parents’ educational capacity to help the child better live this experience. The behavioral study of the child is also very important. After this time, the host is removed from the foster family pending the evaluation of the trial.

Step 4: The actual adoption


A successful trial period confirms the right to adopt the previously tested parents. The latter is called by the ASE to inform them of the procedure and to inform them of the latest educational suggestions. Thus, the adoption documents are prepared. The final validation of this procedure is the responsibility of the public prosecutor. The judgment rendered will be transcribed at the town hall in order to obtain the adoption certificate.

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