Any family (or single person) in Norway who wants to adopt a child from abroad, must apply for an advance approval, issued by the Regional Office for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, before the application can be sent to the country of origin of the child. The Regional Office for Children, Youth and Family Affairs will make a home study of the family, interview them and write a social report on the applicants, consisting of two parts:
(1) A summary of the applicant’s background, marriage, everyday life, interests, motives for wanting to adopt a child from abroad etc, and
(2) A description of the social worker’s impressions of the family and their capabilities to become parents by adoption. The report must end with a recommendation whether the family should be given an advance approval to adopt a child or not. This recommendation must be based on what could be considered the best interest of the (unknown) child.
In addition to the social report, the application must consist of the applicants’ health certificates, police records, marriage and birth certificates and documentation of their financial position.
Membership in accredited adoption organization
When the application is completed, the competent authority is responsible for sending it to another department in the Regional Office for Children, Youth and Family Affairs for processing. The applicants must register themselves as members in one of the three accredited adoption associations before the application will be decided upon. The adoption associations are responsible for arranging adoptions to the applying families in Norway, if the application for advance approval is granted. The associations work in close co-operation with the competent authorities in the various countries of origin.
Decision and appeal
In average it takes the municipalities 3-6 months to prepare the necessary social report about the applying families. After that, it takes up to another 3 months to deal with the application in the Regional Office for Children, Youth and Family Affairs. If the office comes to a negative conclusion, the decision may be appealed to The Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, Bufdir.
Requirements to the applicants’ physical and social credits
According to regulations, the applicants must have a normal/good health both physically and mentally. Their financial situation has to be good, and they must have a good conduct and a clean police record. Those who apply together must be married, and the marriage should have lasted for a minimum of two years. Regarding age, the applicants must be over 25 years old. According to the regulations the authorities should be restraint in granting approval for persons over 45 years, but there is exceptions to this.