Adoption is a legal procedure in which the legal obligations and rights of a child are created between the adoptive parent and thechild similarly to those between a biological parent and a child. The objective of adoption is to find a proper and loving family for children deprived of parental care. Only minors whose parent(s) has/have consented to adoption, is/are deceased or have been deprived of custody may be adopted. Adoption must always serve the best interest of the child.
Irje Tammeleht, +372 5309 1597, [email protected]
Domestic adoption concerns adoptive parents and a child of the same nationality and the same country of residence. From 1 January 2017, specialists in the Child Protection Department will organize domestic adoption.
Regional teams of the Child Protection Department are located in four cities across Estonia - Tallinn, Jõhvi, Tartu and Pärnu.
The regional teams cover the following administrative territories:
Northern region (Endla 8, Tallinn)
Harju, Rapla and Järva County
Olga Vassina 5349 5424 [email protected]
Eve Mänd 5911 2128 [email protected]
Eastern region (Keskväljak 1, Jõhvi)
Ida-Viru and Lääne-Viru County
Andres Julle 5198 2801 [email protected]
Southern region (Tähe 106, Tartu)
Jõgeva, Tartu, Võru, Põlva, Valga and Viljandi County
Western region (Lai 14, Pärnu)
Saare, Hiiu, Lääne and Pärnu County
Elo Tenusaar 5190 3792 [email protected]
International adoption is governed by the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. The principles of the Convention are reflected in the Estonian Family Law Act.
In the case of adoption, the child’s interests take priority over the interests of the person seeking to adopt the child.
According to the Family Law Act, children may be adopted from Estonia to a foreign country only as an exception - when it is not possible to care for the child to the necessary extent in Estonia.
Children have been adopted from Estonia to foreign countries since the 1990s. In the past, the main destination countries for international adoption from Estonia have been the USA, Finland and Sweden. Cooperation agreements with the USA and Finland ended in 2013 and 2016, respectively. Currently, Estonia has a cooperation agreement with the Kingdom of Sweden.
Over the years, the number of adopted children has dropped worldwide, incl. in Estonia.
International adoption and the work of the International Adoption Committee are coordinated by the Social Indurance Board. If the residence of the adoptive parent or adoptive child is outside Estonia, the court may decide on adoption to a foreign country only on the consent of the International Adoption Committee.
For further information, please contact Irje Tammeleht, +372 53091597, [email protected]