On 19th April 1994 Finland signed the Hague Convention for Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, ratified it on 27th March 1997 and the Convention became effective on 1st July 1997.

Pursuant to art. 6 of the Hague Convention, Central Authority for Finland is the Finnish Board for Intercountry Adoption Affairs at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The members of the Finnish Board for Intercountry Adoption Affairs are appointed by the Finnish government for a period of 5 years. The chairperson and the deputy chairperson are representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the rest of its members are: 1 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1 from the Ministry of Justice, 1 from the Directorate of Immigration, 1 from the municipal social agency, 1 expert on the issues of social development and 1 representative of the accredited organizations – international adoption mediation agencies. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health appoints the Board’s secretary.

International adoption by Finnish citizens could be done only if persons with permanent residence in Finland use the services of Finnish mediation agencies. These organizations should be non-profit legal bodies, which have received a mediation permit from the Finnish Central Authority.

At the time of submitting the application to adopt internationally, the prospective adoptive parent should be at least 25 years old. An exception could be made and adoption could be permitted by a person who is under 25 if there are some important circumstances at hand. An individual as well as a family can adopt a child. There are no limitations with respect to the maximal age of the applicant but there is a recommendable maximal age difference between the adoptee and the prospective adoptive parent, which cannot exceed 45 years.

The assessments of applicants for national as well as for international adoption are carried out by the respective social agency in the region of residence of the applicant and usually take 1 year. The assessment starts after the applicant presents to the Board a certificate issued by the mediation organization that it will provide all services throughout the adoption process and till the finalization of the procedure.  On the basis of the assessment provided by the respective social agency, the Finnish Board for Intercountry Adoption Affairs issues to the applicant a certificate for eligibility to adopt a child. This certificate is valid for 1 year. After the expiration of the certificate it can be renewed for another 2 years. If the international adoption procedure has not been finalized within this 2 year period, the certificate for eligibility is prolonged till the end of the procedure.

The Finnish agency is responsible for ensuring that the applicants’ documents are valid and it maintains the contact with the Bulgarian adoption mediation agency.

Adoption finalized abroad is fully recognized and by virtue of the Bulgarian court judgement the child acquires Finnish citizenship from the moment when the Bulgarian court judgement permitting the adoption becomes effective. The blood relations with the birth family are interrupted and with the new family new relations and rights are acquired as in the case of blood relationship. The Finnish law does not allow for re-adoption of the child to take place. Adoption is interrupted if the adoptive parent and the adoptee get married. In this case of interruption, though, the blood relations between the adoptee and his/her relatives by birth are not recovered. 

Since 2014, on the territory of the Finland, ANIDO collaborates with:

Save the Children Finland

Koskelantie 38, PL 95

00601 Helsinki, Finland

Telephone +358 10 843 5000

Fax +358 10 843 5111

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Intercountry Adoption Council sessions

This section contains information on the referrals (proposals) made by the IAC. This is the body within the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice, which makes the referrals.

Exceptional professionals - A. M. and K. B, Barcelona, Spain

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