Tag Archives: grounds for adoption without consent in EU member states

For what reasons do other countries allow adoption without consent?

We are grateful for this helpful summary of the position in other EU Member states from Claire Fenton – Glynn. See further her post, We are not alone: Every European country permits adoption without parental consent. 


Abandonment or Lack of Contact with Child

Deprivation of Parental Rights

Dispensing with Consent

  • AUSTRIA Whereabouts or residence unknown (6 months) Refusal of consent without justification
  • BELGIUM Parent has lost interest in the child, deprivation of parental rights; has compromised his or her health, safety or morals
  • BULGARIA Resident in a foster home or institutional care, and parent has not requested the termination or modification of this measure and the return of the child (6 months) Parents continuously fail to provide care for the child, do not provide financial support, or raise and educate the child in a manner harmful to its development.
  • CROATIA Abandoned the child, lost the right to parental care
  • CYPRUS Abandoned or neglected the child, neglect or persistent mistreatment. Unreasonably withholding consent
  • CZECH REPUBLIC Not manifested a proper interest (6 months) Not trying to rectify their family and social condition within the limits of their possibilities so that they can personally care of the child (6 months)
  • DENMARK Deprivation of parental rights If dispensing with consent it is of decisive importance to the welfare of the child
  • ENGLAND AND WALES If dispensing with consent is in the best interests of the child
  • ESTONIA Whereabouts or residence unknown (for “an extended period of time”) Deprivation of parental rights
  • FINLAND If the refusal is not sufficiently justified taking into account the best interests of the child
  • FRANCE Manifest disinterest (12 months) Risk of compromising the child’s health or morals Abusively withholding consent
  • GERMANY Shown through conduct to be indifferent to the child Persistently grossly violating parental duties Where it would be disproportionately disadvantageous to the child if the adoption did not take place
  • GREECE Deprivation of parental rights
  • HUNGARY Not contacting the child (12 months)
  • IRELAND Parents failed in their duty towards the child (12 months)
  • ITALY Abandonment: lacking the moral and material care of their parents
  • LATVIA Treat the child especially badly or does not care of the child or does not ensure the supervision of the child and it may endanger the physical, mental or moral development of the child.
  • LITHUANIA Parental authority restricted for an unlimited period
  • LUXEMBOURG Manifest disinterest (12 months) Lost their parental rights
  • MALTA Unjustifiably not having contact (18 months) Neglect or persistent mistreatment Unreasonably withholding consent
  • NETHERLANDS Have not, or hardly, lived together, abuse of parental authority or grossly neglected duties to care for the child
  • NORTHERN IRELAND Abandoned or neglected the child, persistently failed in duties towards the child, has persistently ill-treated, or seriously ill-treated the child, withholding consent unreasonably
  • POLAND Deprived of parental authority If refusal is clearly contrary to the child’s welfare
  • PORTUGAL Not showing interest (3 months) Deprived of parental authority
  • ROMANIA Abusively refusing to give consent, and adoption is in the child’s best interests
  • SCOTLAND Unable to satisfactorily discharge parental duties
  • SLOVAKIA Systematically did not manifest proper interest (6 months) Deprivation of parental rights
  • SLOVENIA Whereabouts or residence unknown (12 months) Parental rights have been take away
  • SPAIN Deprived of parental authority
  • SWEDEN Where a parent has no share in custody