Legislation and Central Authority 

Italy ratified the Hague Convention on Protection and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption on 31 December 1998 and entered into force on 16 November 2000. The Central Authority under the Hague Convention is the Commission on intercounry adoptions in Rome.

Who can adopt?

According art. 6 of Law №184/04 as of May 1983 for adoption of minor children from Italian citizens, the adoption is allowed in the following cases:

1. The prospective adoptive parents are married for at least three years and that there were not separated during the last three years. It is not possible for Italian couples to adopt if they were separated.

2. Spouses that are not separated and who are capable of raising, educating and financially supporting the minor children, who they want to adopt.

3. The prospective adoptive parents shall have a home study prepared by the local Social services

4. The prospective adoptive parents shall be assesed as eligible to adopt with a decision by the Court for minors

5. There are strickt requirements related to the age difference between the adoptive parents and the adopted child:

a) The minimum age between the adoptive parent and the child shall be at least 18 years

b) The maximum age difference shall be 45 for one of the parents and 55 for the other, as this age difference can be different if the adoptive parents adopt two or more childeren or if they have either a biological or adopted child.

Home study:


According art. 29, par. 3, par. 4 and par. 5 the municipal social services provide information on the intercountry adoption, prepare the adoptive parents and prepare the home study about their eligibility to adopt.

Main stages:

The prospective adoptive parents shall inform the Minors Court about their permanent residence and by providing a declaration for predesposition to adopt they request the Court to declare them suitable to adopt.

Pursuant to Art. 30, par. 3 of Law №476, a copy of the decision of the Minors Court, and a copy of the report of the Services for social support the whole available information is being sent to the Central Authority – the Commission on intercountry adoptions in Rome.

The term of the approval is valid for the whole adoption procedure.

Validity term of the certificate of eligibility:

The decision issued by the Italian Minors Court about the eligibility to adopt is valid throughout the procedure. The adoption procedure shall be initiated by the adoptive parents within one year of the date of the decision. Within this period the prospective adoptive parents shall authorize an Italian accredited agency to intermediate in their adoption procedure.


Foreign partners:

Sao Jose Amici nel Mondo (SjAMO) •   Assocciazione “Lo Scoiattolo” ONLUS  • Associazione “Il Mantello” ONLUS  • Fondazione Patrizia Nidoli

Model table of the Hague Conference on private international law for the costs associated with international adoption

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