Regulations of 30 January 2015 No. 72 on Intercountry Adoption

The Regulations lay down rules regarding conditions for prior consent, requirements for applicants and procedure in cases concerning prior consent for intercountry adoption; see section 16 e of the Adoption Act. The requirements shall ensure that children adopted from abroad receive a good, permanent home so that the adoption is in the best interests of the child.

Section 1. Scope and purpose

The Regulations lay down rules regarding conditions for prior consent, requirements for applicants and procedure in cases concerning prior consent for intercountry adoption; see section 16 e of the Adoption Act. The requirements shall ensure that children adopted from abroad receive a good, permanent home so that the adoption is in the best interests of the child. 

Section 2. Who may apply for adoption

Persons who are married or who live together in a stable, marriage-like relationship may apply to adopt jointly. Single persons may also apply for adoption. 

Section 3. Assessment of applicants for adoption

The Office for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufetat) shall assess applicants for adoption. At the request of Bufetat, the municipality shall assist with gathering information relating to an application for prior consent under section 16 e of the Adoption Act. 

Section 4. Prior consent for intercountry adoption

Bufetat gives prior consent for intercountry adoption under section 16 e of the Adoption Act. The prior consent shall state whether the applicant may adopt one child or siblings, which country the child(ren) may be adopted from and how old the children may be.

In the case of adoption of a child who has reached the age of five, sibling groups of more than two children and children with special care needs, the approval of the advisory committee for adoption cases is required in addition to prior consent. The decision of the advisory committee may not be appealed.

Prior consent is given for three years, and upon application may be extended by two years. If a child has definitely been allocated by the authorities of the country of origin, and the adoption process is in a final stage, consideration may be given to extending the prior consent for a further period of time.

When applying for an extension of prior consent, applicants shall present a new personal health status form, a new medical certificate, a new criminal record certificate and a new tax certificate; see section 8, c, d, e and f. 

Section 5. Requirements for applicants for adoption

Only applicants for adoption who have the possibility of being able to take care of the child throughout his or her childhood and youth may be given prior consent. An overall assessment shall be carried out of whether the applicants are suited to adopt, in which importance shall be attached to the following:

  1. personal qualities and motivation for adopting
  2. physical and mental health
  3. ability to undertake care responsibilities for a sufficient period of time in the future
  4. the family situation
  5. the family’s financial situation
  6. standard of housing and residential environment
  7. record of conduct

If there is any doubt as to whether an adoption will be in the best interests of the child, the application shall be rejected; see section 2 of the Adoption Act. 

Section 6. Adoption preparation course

Applicants for adoption shall have attended an adoption preparation course before prior consent may be given. If the applicants have previously attended an adoption preparation course and they are applying to adopt another child, they are not required to take a new course before prior consent may be given.

Bufetat may grant an exemption from the course requirement if the application concerns the adoption of a child whom the applicants have had in their care. 

Section 7. Requirements for applicants seeking to adopt older children and siblings

In the case of adoption of a child aged three to five years or two siblings who are both under the age of five, the applicants must be suited to this type of care responsibility. In the assessment, particular weight shall be given to the applicants’ insight into the needs of older adopted children and the applicants’ experience with and knowledge of children. 

Section 8. Application for prior consent and documentation requirements

An application for prior consent for intercountry adoption shall be sent to Bufetat. The application shall contain the following documentation:

  1. confirmation of mediation from an approved adoption organization
  2. birth certificate
  3. personal health status on the prescribed form issued by the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs
  4. medical certificate on the prescribed form issued by the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs
  5. exhaustive criminal record certificate
  6. transcript of latest tax assessment showing income and debts
  7. in the case of adoption applicants who live together, a certificate of marriage or a record of addresses issued by the national population register documenting their cohabitation is required
  8. proof of nationality in the form of a copy of the applicant’s passport or an extract from the national population register.

The documentation specified in a, c, d, e, g and h shall be no older than six months. Before prior consent may be given, the applicants shall present a certificate of completion of the adoption preparation course.

If necessary in order to gather information regarding the case, Bufetat may request additional documentation. In cases where the documentation concerns personal information, Bufetat shall obtain specific consent from the person the information concerns at the relevant time. 

Section 9. Duty to notify changes and new circumstances

Applicants shall notify Bufetat of any changes in their life situation and family life during the period from the time the application was sent and until the adoption process is completed. Examples of changes that shall be notified are the break-up of their relationship, the placement of a child in foster care with the family, pregnancy, infertility treatment, illness, unemployment, significant financial changes and change of residence.

Based on new information, Bufetat may conduct an investigation. While the investigation is in progress, Bufetat may ask the adoption organization to suspend the adoption process, so that no child is allocated to the applicants during the investigation. If Bufetat finds that the applicants no longer meet the conditions for adoption, the agency may withdraw the prior consent. 

Section 10. Entry into force and transitional provisions

These Regulations shall enter into force on 1 February 2015. The Regulations apply to applications for prior consent received by Bufetat on 1 February 2015 or later.

Read regulation at lovdata.no