Adoption in Switzerland

Each year 30 to 40 Swiss children and another 350 to 400 children from abroad are adopted in Switzerland. 

If you are thinking of adopting a child whilst living in Switzerland, here are the things you need to know: 

  • You can apply for adoption regardless of your nationality so long as you are officially living in the country.
  • Adopting as a couple: you must have been living together for at least 3 years, be at least 28 years of age, and at least 16 years older than the child you wish to adopt. 
  • Adopting as a single person: you must be at least 28 years of age. You cannot adopt as a single person if you are married or are in a registered relationship.
  • Adopting your partner’s children is possible if you have been in that relationship for at least 3 years.
  • Adopting an adult is possible so long as your family approve.
  • Adopting as a homosexual couple: currently it is only possible to adopt your partner’s children (here the same rules as for a heterosexual couple apply).
  • If you wish to adopt a baby, the child has to be at least 6 weeks old before the biological parents are allowed to give them up for adoption.

In all cases, you will need to be able to prove that you can provide for the child both financially and emotionally. The process is lengthy and thorough but there are a lot of support groups to help you deal with the emotional challenges that may arise.

You can find out more at and/or by contacting the adoption office in Luzern at

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