As a foreigner, it is possible to adopt Brazilian children and adolescents in two different ways:

  • As a resident of Brazil
  • As a foreigner living abroad

In the first case, it is necessary for the foreigner residing in Brazil to own a Permanent Residence Visa in order to adopt a child or adolescent. After this, the application will follow the same process as a Brazilian person.

In the second case, the process is a little more complicated. First of all, it is necessary to say that international adoption is an exceptional procedure, as priority to adopt Brazilian children and adolescents will be given to Brazilian residents.

So, foreigners who live abroad and are interested in adopting Brazilian children or adolescents must find a foreign organization that is accredited to intermediate the international adoption process. The foreign organization must be registered with the Federal Police, accredited by the Autoridade Central Administrativa Federal, which is Portuguese for Federal Administrative Central Authority. The foreign organization that intermediates the international adoption process must also be licensed by the Comissão Estadual Judiciária de Adoção Internacional, which is Portuguese for the State Judicial Commissions of International Adoptions.

The following documents are needed for foreigners to apply for international adoption:

  • Copy of the applicant’s passport
  • Certificate stating that a search was conducted but was not successful to find a Brazilian resident interested in adopting the children or adolescent in question
  • Copy of the child’s birth certificate
  • Proof of address of the applicant

If a Brazilian resident interested in the adoption is not found, the foreigner will be summoned to Brazil in order to start the period when the adopted child or adolescent temporarily moves in with the new family, after a special document is issued: the Autorização para o Início do Processo de Adoção, which is Portuguese for Authorization for the Beginning of the Adoption Process.

If everything goes well and the Childhood and Youth Court grants approval for the foreigner to adopt, a Certificado de Conformidade da Adoção Internacional, which is Portuguese for Certificate of Compliance of International Adoption will be issued.