IV. Suitability assessment

A person residing in Hong Kong who intends to adopt an infant, other than a person who is (i) a parent or relative of the infant or (ii) married to a parent of the infant, must fill in a form specified by the Director of the Social Welfare Department (DSW) and submit it, in the case of local adoption, to DSW or an Accredited Body for assessment of his suitability to be an adoptive parent ( sections 27(1) and 27A of the Adoption Ordinance ).

The application must be submitted together with such information as the DSW or the Accredited Body may reasonably require, along with a written authorisation from the applicant to the Commissioner of Police authorising the Commissioner to to inform the DSW whether or not the applicant has a criminal record. In the case of local adoption where the application is submitted to an Accredited Body, the applicant may in the authorisation designate the Accredited Body rather than the DSW for the purpose of checking the applicant’s criminal record. On receiving an authorisation submitted to it, the Accredited Body must send the authorisation to the DSW for processing the criminal record check ( section 27A(2)-(4) ). After considering an application for local adoption, the DSW or Accredited Body may decide whether or not the applicant is suitable to be an adoptive parent ( section 29(1) ).