Legislation and Central Autority

The Kingdom of Spain is a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. The Central Authority under the Hague Convention with coordinating functions, cooperation and communication is the Ministry of Labour and Social Services in Madrid. Each region or autonous communities in the Kingdom of Spain has a local central authority, responsible for the preparation of the home study and the approval of the prospective adoptive parents for intercountry adoption. These are the General Directorate for Social Services, Childeren and Families and the directorates at the Social Service Councels in each autonomous community in Spain. The local central autorities, at the regional and autonomous communities in the Kingdom of Spain are responsible for the preparation of the home study of the prospective adoptive parents and their approval. Each autonomous community has their own specific reglations in the preparation of the adoption process.

Adoption in Spain

The adoption is full and leads to the establishement of new family relationship, equal to the biological and therefor the relationship of the adopted child with his/her biological parents is terminaed.

According the instructions of the Spanish Ministry of Justice as of 15 February 1999, the registration of an adopted child in the civil register shall be done with the names of the adoptive parents, without mentioning the adoption, as it is equal to registering a biological child.

Eligibility requirements towards the prospective adoptive parents applying to adopt a child through intercountry adoption

Pursuant to Art.175 of №21/1987, amending the Civil Code and the Law on the citizenship, regulating the adoptions, the prospective adoptive parents must be at least 25 years old. When married couples apply to adopt, it is enough for one of the parents to be at least 25 years old. In any case, the adoptive parent shall be at least 14 years older than the adopted child.

Competent authorities under the Hague Convention

The eligibility certificate and the home studies for intercounry adoptions are prepared by the Local Central Authorities at the place of residence of the applicants.

Main stages:

The adoptive parents that wish to apply for approval for intercountry adoption shall be registered in the registry of the Central Authority in their place of residence in order for their eligibility to be evaluated.

Validity of the Certificate of eligibility

The validity of the Certificate of eligibility to adopt of the adoptive parents is different in the different communities in Spain, but it is always mentioned in the document. Pursuant to Art.10 of Law № 54/2007 the Certificate of eligibility is valid for 3 years.

Recognition of the intercounry adoption

Pursuant to Art.23 of the Hague Convention, upon certifying that the adoption is realized in line with the Convention, the adoption is recognized by the accepting country and in this sense the adoption of a child in a country, party to the Hague convention is automatically recognized in Spain.


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