Amendments to the Adoption Act

The task of investigating prospective adoptive parents will be transferred from the municipalities to the regions in the Norwegian Children, Youth and Family Affairs Service on 1 February 2015.

This applies to applications for advance approval of adoptions of foreign children and to applications to adopt a child in Norway where the biological parents ask for help to have the child adopted. The municipality is to complete investigations into applicants if an application for advance consent or the renewal of advance consent is received by the municipality prior to 1 February 2015. The Norwegian Children, Youth and Family Affairs Service (Bufetat) is to investigate applicants whose applications are received after 1 February 2015. As from 1 February 2015, adoption applications are to be sent to the regional offices of the Children, Youth and Family Affairs Service.

The Act now states more clearly that regulations may be issued stating requirements for those seeking to adopt a foreign child. These requirements may be related to such issues as health, the length of the applicants' relationship, good conduct, finances and participation in courses to prepare for adoption.

 Previously, only a married couple could adopt a child together. As from 1 October 2014, cohabitants were given the right to adopt in the same way as married couples as well as an opportunity to adopt step-children after a breakdown of the relationship or death.