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How do I go about adopting my partner’s children?

Basic requirements

If you want to adopt the child of the person to whom you:

  • are married, or
  • have a registered partnership with, or
  • Live with in the same household,

you need to meet the following conditions:

  • You must have been living in a household for at least three years with the father or mother of the child you wish to adopt;
  • You must be at least 16 years and no more than 45 years older than the child. Exceptions may be made to this rule for the sake of the child’s welfare, but a justification must be provided;
  • The child must have been in your care for at least a year.

The child's biological father / biological mother is generally required to give his/her consent to the adoption.

However, if the parent is unknown, has been absent for at least two years with no known address or is of impaired judgment, this requirement may be waived.

If the child is old enough to give their consent (generally meaning they are above the age of 12), they must also agree to the adoption.

Other Conditions

In the case of an adoption of the child of its partner, the competent authority must clarify, in the same way as the joint adoption or the adoption alone, whether it is in the best interests of the child.

Applying to adopt a partner’s child

The cantonal authority responsible for matters relating to adoption can provide information about the adoption procedure.