• Residency: There are no residency requirements for prospective adoptive parents.
  • Age Requirements: Under Polish law, there are no formal, legal restrictions on the age of prospective adoptive parents.  In practice, however, prospective adoptive parents may be up to 40 years older than the child.
  • Marriage Requirements: Both married and single prospective adoptive parents are permitted to adopt a child in Poland.  Poland does not recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions; therefore same-sex couples are unable to adopt a child in Poland.
  • Income:  Poland does not have any specific income requirements for intercountry adoptions.
  • Other Requirements: Although Roman Catholicism is Poland's official religion, non-Catholic prospective adoptive parents are permitted to adopt a child in Poland.  However, one of the three adoption centers in Poland deals only with Catholic families.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Relinquishment:  A single mother may relinquish her parental rights in the family court no earlier than six weeks after giving birth.  The court will make the final decision about the termination of parental rights.
  • Abandonment:  The majority of Polish children eligible for intercountry adoption have been separated from their biological parents, by the court’s decision to terminate their parental rights and to place the children in the foster care.
  • Age of Adoptive Child:  Polish law allows for children younger than age 18 to be adopted.  Children older than 13 must give their consent for adoption.  
  • Sibling Adoptions:  It is usually more difficult to find a suitable family domestically to adopt siblings; therefore, these children are often eligible for intercountry adoption.  Sibling groups, which can range from two to six children, are generally not separated.  An adopting parent would be immediately notified and have priority to adopt if a sibling of a child already adopted becomes eligible for adoptions.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions:  Young and healthy children are most often placed with Polish families.  Children with medical conditions or special needs are more likely to be placed for intercountry adoption, even if they are very young.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care:  Prospective parents adopting children in Poland are not granted temporary care under Polish law.  Children remain in state care or foster care until the adoption is finalized.  While there is no standard or mandatory waiting period between matching and the bonding period, parents typically wait about six months until the first hearing before a judge.  Afterward, the mandatory bonding period lasts between two and four weeks and the standard appeals period following the judge's approval of the adoption is three weeks.  In addition, the civil documents necessary for the child to travel may take between two and three weeks.

Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Poland

Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Poland, you must have completed the above steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Poland. 

The process of finalizing the adoption in Poland includes the following:

  • Role of the Court: Prospective adoptive parents file a formal request to adopt the child with the Polish family court in the region where the child resides. A copy of the state adoption law (and Polish translation) where the prospective adoptive parents reside must also be included with the filing. Polish law requires all prospective adoptive parents to be present during the final two adoption hearings, though the judge has the discretion to waive the requirement of the first of these two final hearings. At the first hearing, the judge will grant permission for the prospective adoptive parents to visit with the child daily for a two- to four-week period. The bonding period is mandatory and evaluated by a local adoption center psychologist. At the final hearing, the judge decides whether to grant the adoption and full custody. It is followed by a 21-day appeal period which may be shortened to 14 days at the judge's discretion. The court issues both the final adoption decree and the Article 23 Hague Certificate.

Adoption Fees:  In the adoption services contract signed at the beginning of the adoption process, the agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to the adoption process.


Some of the fees specifically associated with adopting from Poland include:

  • Complete form of the birth certificate - 35 PLN per copy
  • Short form of the birth certificate - 20 PLN per copy
  • Polish temporary passport - 30 PLN
  • Visa and passport photos – about 100 PLN
  • Immigrant visa fee - 230 USD
  • Medical exam - 250 PLN
  • Translations of Polish documents into English - 30-40 PLN per page
  • Court interpretation services – 150-200 PLN per hour
  • Formal psychological evaluation of the bonding process – 2,000 – 2,500 PLN

In some areas of Poland, adoptive parents may also be financially responsible for the housing costs of the child in the orphanage, from the time n adoption is finalized through the child’s removal from the orphanage.  It is customary, but not required, for adoptive parents to make donations in the amount of 500-1,000 PLN to the adoption center that assisted in the adoption processing. 

  • Documents Required:
  • Adoption application;
  • Birth certificate(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s);
  • Marriage certificate(s) and proof of termination of any previous marriage(s), if applicable;
  • Criminal records clearance check;
  • Confirmation of financial status;
  • Proof of citizenship;
  • Certificate attesting to good physical and mental health of the prospective adoptive parents – medical records;

Note:  Additional documents may be requested.