Intercountry Adoption

Those interested in adopting from overseas should be given appropriate assistance and guidance to do so, in compliance with legislation, regulations and standards.

The Department maintains an inter-country adoption service, which includes providing information, counselling, assessing eligibility and suitability.Prospective adopters wishing to adopt from overseas will only be entitled to a service from Guernsey if they are habitually domiciled in Guernsey. Those living elsewhere who make an enquiry will be advised which adoption agency to contact.

When is intercountry adoption appropriate? In the first instance, children who cannot live with their birth parents should be either found a placement with a family member or given the opportunity to live with a family within their state of origin.  Inter-country adoption may be considered as an alternative means of providing a permanent family for a child who cannot be cared for in a suitable manner in his or her own country.Inter-country adoption should only take place where it is in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights.Safeguards equivalent to those which apply in domestic adoptions should be applied in inter-country adoption to protect the welfare of the child.  The same general standards apply to home studies in respect of those adopting from overseas as apply to assessments of those adopting in this country. Statutory and personal references must be taken up, health and safety checks undertaken, a preparation course offered and a second visit undertaken by either the team manager for the adoption service or the senior practitioner in the team.Profit should not be made from the process at any stage.Parents, guardians, step parents and other relatives are subject to the same restrictions as any other inter-country adopter.


  1. Those wishing to adopt from overseas and living within Guernsey will be offered an initial consultation with one of the fostering and adoption social work team. This will give them an opportunity to consider general issues and to hear about local children in need of adoptive homes.
  2. The fostering and adoption team will contact (PACT) in the event that the prospective adopter wishes to proceed with the adoption of a child from overseas.
  3. Any costs incurred in commissioning and carrying out an assessment for an inter-country adoption may be recouped by the Department from the prospective applicants.
  4. The department will charge for the cost if a foreign country requests a post adoption report from the adopters. A contract must be signed in advance of any visits by the independent worker and the home study being commenced.
  5. Some adoption orders granted overseas are recognised in this country.
  6. Entry clearance must also be obtained for the child in consultation with the fostering and adoption team and immigration department. There are penalties, including fines and imprisonment, for anyone contravening conditions of entry clearance and restrictions on bringing children into Guernsey.
  7. Adoption orders granted elsewhere are not recognised and adopters must adopt again in Guernsey. Lists of designated countries are available from the fostering and adoption team.


TaskResponsible officerRecord requiredTimecale
Follow the same procedures as stated within the adoption enquiry section.After an application form has been received, the prospective adopters will be referred to the intercountry adoption agency PACT.Fostering and Adoption Social WorkerCase FileAs appropriate
The Department is in the process of exploring and finalizing contractual details with PACTService Manager and Team Manager of Fostering and Adoption TeamTo be agreed