Adoption is an institution by which, following a judiciary decision, a legal link is established between two individuals, which causes effects of the law that are identical or very comparable to those of a parent-child relationship.

In Belgium, there are two types of adoption: simple and plenary (art. 343 § 2 CC)
Either one can be done by:
                                                                            - a single person;
                                                                            - a couple of people of different sex or of the same sex,
                                                                              having previously made a declaration of legal cohabitation;
                                                                             - two spouses of different sex or of the same sex;
                                                                             - two cohabitants of different sex or of the same sex, who have lived together in a real and permanent manner for at least three years at the time of the introduction of the adoption request,
as long as they are not blood relatives (art. 343 § 1 CC).

The adoption procedure may be granted:

  • In Belgium: Belgian law applies;
  • abroad: foreign law applies and the judgment must go through the central federal authority in order to be recognized.


The Officer of the Civil Registry transcribes in its registry: - the result of any decision made in Belgium or abroad (art. 1231 - 15, 23, 50 Code Judiciaire);
- the birth certificate of the adopted person if the adoption was granted or recognized in Belgium (art. 368 -1 1e al.3CC).



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