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Adopting a child in Geneva

This page provides people wishing to adopt a child with useful information. Discover who to contact to obtain advice and support as well as the conditions to be satisfied and the leave and allowances to which you are entitled as an adoptive parent in Geneva.

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Un homme fait prendre son bain à un bébé souriant.

Advice and support

In Geneva, the authorisation and supervision of child placement sites service of the DIP is the central cantonal authority in Geneva with regard to adoption matters (ACC Ge). It is the first point of contact if you wish to adopt a child. It will advise and accompany you throughout the adoption procedure.

The Confederation provides all the legal information concerning adoption procedures and the supervision of adoption agencies. Find out more about adoption on the Confederation website.

Adoption agencies and different bodies can provide applicants with additional information and guide them in their procedures.

Preconditions for adoption

couple wishing to adopt a child must:

  • have been married for at least 5 years or be at least 35 years old and
  • be at least 16 years older than the child.

A person wishing to adopt a child alone must:

  • be at least 35 years old;
  • be at least 16 years older than the child;
  • not be married. A married person may only adopt a child alone if they are at least 35 years old and their spouse has become indefinitely incapable of discernment or has been absent for more than two years with no known residence, or when legal separation was pronounced more than three years previously.

In addition to these conditions, the parents must provide all the guarantees that they are enduringly capable of dealing with the child, providing for his/her upkeep and ensuring he/she receives an education. It is also important to obtain the consent of different people such as the child, if he/she is capable of discernment (generally from the age of 16), or the biological parents, if the child has not been legally abandoned. More information concerning the conditions for adopting a child can be found on the Swiss authorities’ web portal

Adopting the child of your spouse

To adopt the child of your spouse, you must:

  • have been married to the father/mother of the child you want to adopt for at least 5 years;
  • have an age difference of at least 16 years with the child;
  • obtain, in general, a declaration of consent from the biological mother/father of the child.

Adoption leave and allowance

In Swiss federal law, there is no provision for maternity leave or maternity allocations when adopting a child. In Geneva, however, cantonal legislation provides for adoption leave for the adoptive mother or father if the following conditions are met:

If these conditions are met, adoption leave totals 16 weeks paid at 80% of the salary (but no more than 196 francs per day) from the moment the child is placed and no earlier than the day the beneficiary takes leave to collect the child in his/her country of origin.

Family allowance

In Geneva, adopting a child entitles you to:

  • birth and adoption allowance of CHF 2,000, on condition that the adoptive family is resident in Switzerland;
  • child allowance of at least CHF 200 per month, paid for each child under the age of 16.

Allowances paid in the event of a large family or for the education of young people aged between 16 and 25 are also considered as family allowances.

Search for biological parents

Any adopted child who has reached the age of adulthood can obtain the surname, first name and place of origin (or nationality) of his/her biological parents, even without their consent. Before providing this information, the authority or office in possession of the information shall, if possible, inform the biological parents. More information concerning a search for biological parents can be found on the Swiss authorities’ portal

To submit a request to search for your biological parents, you must contact:

  • the cantonal authority of your place of birth if you are born in Switzerland;
  • the cantonal authority of the place in which the adoption was pronounced or recognised if you are born abroad;
  • or, alternatively, the cantonal authority of the place in which the adoption procedure was conducted.

In the canton of Geneva, this is the SASLP, or the authorisation and supervision of child placement sites service (DIP). 

The City of Geneva cannot guarantee that it has the very latest information relating to the remit of the canton. If you notice a mistake, please inform the municipal authorities by sending an e-mail to communication.web@ville-ge.ch.
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Article modifié le 06.03.2020 à 13:29