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Adoption - how much does it cost?

In all cases of adoption, you should expect to pay basic administrative costs plus additional fees depending on the complexity of the case, the child’s country of origin and the canton dealing with the case.

International adoption

It is very difficult to say in advance how much it will cost to adopt a child from abroad, but it generally ranges between 10 000 and 50 000 francs.

Administrative fees paid to the Confederation

The Confederation charges the adopting persons 400 francs for the services it provides, from handling the adoption request to preparations in association with the child’s arrival (or 200 francs if the documents are collected by an intermediary body for the Confederation and sent directly to the central authority for adoption abroad).

If the adoption procedure takes longer than usual for some reason, the costs may rise to a maximum of 1000 francs.

Other costs

In addition to the administrative fees paid to the Confederation, you also have to pay a fee to your local canton (this varies according to canton). If you make use of an intermediary organisation, you will also have to pay them for their services.

As prospective parents you have to pay to travel to the child’s country of origin (flight, entry visa, accommodation) and should expect to spend between three and ten weeks there before being able to return with the child (the length of time depends on the case and the country). The adoptive parents also have to pay for the child’s flight to Switzerland and for a Swiss visa (if the adoption is not approved abroad) and any medical tests.

Before the adoption can be approved, there is usually a placement with a view to adoption lasting 12 months, during which the child lives with the prospective adoptive parents, at their expense.

Adoption in Switzerland

Adopting nationally is a lot less difficult, and costs are estimated at about 2000 francs. This covers cantonal administration fees (which vary according to canton), the canton’s assessment of the prospective adoptive parents’ suitability and the legal costs for the final approval of the adoption following a trial period.

Addresses of cantonal authorities responsible for adoption matters