The adoption process includes statutory adoption counselling, applying to the Adoption Board for an adoption permission and, in intercountry adoptions registering as applicant at an intercountry adoption service provider.
Where a prospective adopter or a child under the age of 18 years is or both are habitually resident in Finland, the prospective adopter may not take in the child with a view to adoption, the provider of adoption counselling may not place the child with the prospective adopter with a view to
adoption and the service provider may not provide the child with a prospective adopter
unless the prospective adopter has been granted permission for adoption.
In the first stage of the adoption process, the applicant must undergo adoption counselling; this is mandatory for all adoptions of children under 18. The purpose of adoption counselling is to provide prospective adoptive parents with information on adoption, to help them prepare for adoptive parenthood and to evaluate their capabilities for adoption. Adoption counselling is a social service provided free of charge by family law services units in the wellbeing services counties and by Save the Children. The counsellor is a social worker specialising in adoption matters.
If applicants resident in Finland wish to adopt a child from abroad, they principally need to register as applicant at an intercountry adoption service provider in order to be able to submit their adoption applications to the competent authorities in Finland and abroad. Applicants are charged a fee for intercountry adoption services.
Once you have completed adoption counselling and, for an intercountry adoption, selected an adoption service provider, you must apply to the Adoption Board for an adoption permission.