Can I adopt a child in Germany as a single parent?

Single mother is holding a child's hand | adopt a child in Germany as a single parent


Has anyone tried to adopt a child in Germany as a single parent? Bonus point: as a non-German native? I have a friend living here for ages who would like to adopt a child as a single parent and would like to know if there is anyone who can share the experience.


  • Not with adoption but we are long term fostering. Your friend should be confident with speaking and understanding German. With the child age we were considered too old (one of us is over 40).
  • You can’t adopt a newborn if you are over 40. It has to be 40 years or less difference between your age and the child’s. A 42-year-old could adopt a 2-year-old, though.
  • We asked about adopting an older child, but the agency said that was rare in Germany and recommended long term fostering instead. For fostering a child, we had to attend 2 workshops and then a 9-month assessment. Each case is different and contact with the biological family is arranged and decided with the fostering agency. With long term fostering the child decides when they’re older if they want to be adopted or go back to their birth family.
  • It is very difficult to be in the adoption process, as a single parent she won’t have any luck or possibilities here, as also the other criteria are pretty high. Even as a married native German couple it’s not easy to adopt a child. To be a foster parent is far easier and has lesser criteria.
  • There is written that a couple has better chances than singles. Simply there is something to do with the discrimination law.
  • I am younger than 40 and I was also looking to adopt a child in Germany as a single parent. Everyone discourages me because as a single woman I stand no chance. My German is mediocre.
  • My friend, who tried to adopt a child, didn’t say it is impossible but indeed the Jugendamt is putting so many constraints on her that it looks totally impossible.

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