1. Is it right that only married couples can apply for adoption?

An application for adoption must be made to the District Court. It can be made by a sole applicant or a married couple as joint applicants. But the Court shall not make an adoption order authorizing a sole applicant to adopt an infant unless he/she is the mother or father of the infant; is a relative of the infant and is at least 21 years old; is a person who is married to a parent of the infant; or is at least 25 years old.

Besides, the court will not make an adoption order in respect of a female infant in favour of a sole male applicant, unless the Court is satisfied that there are special circumstances which justify as an exceptional measure the making of an adoption order.

For more information about adoption application, please visit Child and Youth Affairs > Adoption and foster care > Adoption applications .

2. Under what circumstances will an Adoption Order be granted?

An adoption order will be granted if the following matters are satisfied:

    1. The adoption, if made, will be in the best interests of the child, with due consideration given to the wishes and opinions of the child, having regard to his/her age and understanding;
    2. Every person whose consent is necessary under the Adoption Ordinance and whose consent is not dispensed with has consented to and understands the nature and effect of the adoption order and, in particular, that (except for a birth parent married to the sole applicant in the case of step-parent adoption) the effect of the adoption order will be to permanently deprive him/her of any parental rights. The consent should only be executed when the child is at least four weeks old;
    3. The applicant has not received or agreed to receive any payment or other reward in consideration of the adoption; and
    4. Section 5AA or 27(3) of the Adoption Ordinance (as the case may be), has been complied with and, taking into account the information obtained by the Director of the Social Welfare Department from the Commissioner of Police, the applicant is a fit and proper person to be granted the adoption order.

For more details, please refer to Child and Youth Affairs > Adoption and foster care > Adoption placement .

3. Is an adopted child being treated as my natural born child in legal aspect?

Upon an adoption order being made, the infant shall stand to the adopter exclusively in the position of a child born to them in lawful wedlock.

Where, at any time after the making of an adoption order, the adopter or the adopted person or any other person dies intestate (dies without a will) in respect of any property, that property shall be given to other persons as if the adopted person were the child of the adopter born in lawful wedlock and were not the child of any other person.

For more information, please go to Child and Youth Affairs > Adoption and foster care > Effects of adoption .

4. Being a foster parent, can I adopt the child that is living with me now?

Foster care is very different from adoption. Foster parents are not guardians of their foster children, nor do they have the rights and obligations of adopted parents.

They have no standing to apply to the court for custody of the children unless the Director of Social Welfare applies on their behalf.

For more details about foster care, you may visit Child and Youth Affairs > Adoption and foster care > Foster care .