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Gain access to the adoption file

If you as an adopted child would like to find out about your family background, you must contact the adoption agency that arranged your adoption. As a rule, these offices belong to the youth welfare offices, but there are also adoption agencies of independent institutions, for example the churches.

The specialists at your placement office will let you view the files, support you with your research and will be available to answer your questions.

Inspection of files is not possible for you if there are overriding personal interests of the persons involved.

In individual cases, the adoption agency can make every effort to ensure that your biological parents and siblings also have access to the files. However, there is no right of access to the file for members of your family of origin.

The birth register is kept by the registry office responsible for a person's place of birth.

A long file retention period for files on adoptions was only introduced at the beginning of 2002. If the adoption was a long time ago, there may no longer be any mediation files.

If the adoption took place before 1977, no adoption agency was involved. At that time, a notarial contract was sufficient, which the district court had to confirm. In this case, a request to the court involved may take you further.

Process flow

If you as an adopted person want to inspect your placement file, please contact the responsible adoption agency directly:

  • Before a personal visit, you should make a telephone request and make an appointment.
  • The responsible adoption agency will give you and your parents with custody access to the files on the mediation of your adoption, as far as this is possible in individual cases.
  • The specialists will inform you about your origin and life situation, provided that they have information about it and that there are no interests of other people.

Competent authority

  • The adoption agency that carried out the adoption
  • the registry office at the place of birth

Requirements

  • If you would like to view the mediation files:
    • They are
      • have been adopted and are at least 16 years old, or
      • Parents, have adopted their child and have custody of their child
  • If you would like to receive the information or documents from the registry office:
    • Documents from the civil register at the registry office can be requested:
      • Parents who have adopted their child,
      • their parents,
      • legal representation of the child and
      • the child, who is at least 16 years old, himself.
    • After the death of the child, information from the civil status register may also be obtained:
      • other persons to whom the register entry refers (i.e. the biological parents), and
      • their spouses, life partners, ancestors and descendants.
  • Other persons have a right of access if they credibly demonstrate a legal interest.

Which documents are required?

  • Proof of one's own identity by
    • Identity card
    • Passport or
    • similar document

What are the fees?

There are no costs for the inspection of the adoption placement file.

The fees for the activities of a registry office are regulated by state law and therefore vary from state to state.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

There are no deadlines.

Applications / forms

Forms available: No
Written form required No
Informal application possible: Yes
Personal appearance necessary: No

Online services available: No

Appeal

  • Action before the administrative court if the adoption agency of a youth welfare office denies access to files or the provision of information from the civil status register
  • Action before the district court if the adoption agency of a free institution – such as a church – refuses to inspect the file

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Gender Equality

competent Bodies

Landkreis Emsland - Fachbereich Jugend

Address: Ordeniederung 1 , 49716 Meppen

Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62

Telephone: 05931 44-0
Fax: 05931 44-3621
Transport Connection:
Building Access:
elevator available : yes
wheelchair-accessible : yes

Data protection information

Gemeinde Rhede (Ems) - Ordnungsamt/Gewerbe/Feuerwehrwesen

Postal address: Post Office Box 1134

Address: Gerhardyweg 1, 26899 Rhede (Ems)

Telephone: 04964 9182-19
Fax: 04964 9182-40
Transport Connection:
Parking:
Handicapped Parking Place: Number: 2, Fees: no
Parking Place: Number: 60, Fees: no
Building Access:
elevator available : yes
wheelchair-accessible : yes
bank account:
recipients: Gemeinde Rhede (Ems)
bank: Emsländische Volksbank
IBAN: DE08266614940000164300
recipients: Gemeinde Rhede (Ems)
bank: Sparkasse Emsland
IBAN: DE06266500010017000019
payment methods:
Sepa Direct Debit, Sepa Credit Transfer, Bank Transfer, Paypal, Cash Payment

Ansprechpartner

Point of contact:
Herr Holger Knak
Address: Gerhardyweg 1, 26899 Rhede (Ems)
Telephone: 04964 9182-19
Fax: 04964 9182-40
Department:
Ordnungsamt, Sozialamt, Bürgeramt, Standesamt, Gewerbeamt
Room:
19
responsible for:

Landkreis Emsland

Address: Ordeniederung 1 , 49716 Meppen

Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62

Telephone: 05931 44-0
Fax: 05931 44-3621
Transport Connection:
Building Access:
elevator available : yes
wheelchair-accessible : yes
bank account:
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Emsländische Volksbank
BIC: GENODEF1LIG
IBAN: DE26266600600120050000
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Sparkasse Emsland
BIC: NOLADE21EMS
IBAN: DE39266500010000001339
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Postbank Hannover
BIC: PBNKDEFF250
IBAN: DE36250100300012132306

Ansprechpartner

Point of contact:
Marc-André Burgdorf
responsible for:
Bernd Otten (Datenschutzbeauftragter)
Telephone: 05931 44-1605
Fax: 05931 44-391605
Room:
605
responsible for:

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen

Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover

Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99
Building Access:
elevator available : unknown
wheelchair-accessible : unknown

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)

Further Links

Single points of contact of the state of Lower Saxony, Single points of contact of the countries of Europe, advice and assistance for EU citizens and their families.