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Adopting a child from overseas

If you're interested in adopting a child from overseas, contact us for help and advice on the legal implications and the application and assessment process.

If you'd like to adopt a child from overseas you will need to be assessed as an adopter, in a similar way to if you were adopting in the UK. Find out more about the adoption process.

When is overseas adoption allowed?

Adopting a child from overseas, or intercountry adoption as it is known, is only allowed if:

  • The child cannot be cared for in a safe environment in their own country.
  • The adoption would be in the best interests of the child and would not affect their human rights.
  • The adoptive parent has been assessed as eligible and suitable to adopt from overseas by an adoption agency in the UK. 

Other considerations

You will also need to consider:

  • any issues that might arise from relocating a child to the UK
  • you will need to visit the child's country for a period of time
  • your application will need to be considered by the overseas adoption authority and the child's country
  • any adoption guidance and legislation in the child's country

Cost of adoption from overseas

If you want to adopt from overseas, you will need to meet the various costs incurred including:

  • assessment and approval as an adoptive parent
  • Department for Education certification and fees
  • miscellaneous costs such as translation and administrative expenses
  • costs in the child's country of origin

The costs will vary depending on the country involved, contact us for advice.

Intercountry Adoption Centre (IAC)

The Intercountry Adoption Centre website has lots of information about adopting overseas including which countries you are not allowed to adopt from, legal requirements and more.

Contact us
03000 269 400
Our address is:
  • Children and Young People's Services
  • Spectrum 8
  • Spectrum Business Park
  • Seaham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • SR7 7TT
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