Please refer to the French, German or Spanish page for country-specific information.
The adoption of your child must be reported to your Swiss representation abroad so that the data in the various Swiss registers can be updated.
The civil status authority in Switzerland is responsible for recognising the adoption according to Swiss law and for entering the corresponding information in the Swiss civil status register. Your Swiss representation will enter the information in the Register of the Swiss Abroad.
In order to do so, your representation needs certain documents from you.
- original birth certificate of the child before adoption
- original adoption decision mentioning the place where it was granted (if possible with a statement of enforceability)
- original birth certificate of the child after adoption
- if applicable, original certificate confirming that the child was adopted in accordance with the provisions of the 1993 Hague Convention within the meaning of Article 23 (Certificate of Conformity of Intercountry Adoption)
The adoption of your child abroad must be entered into the various Swiss registers, whether or not it has taken place within or outside of the framework of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption (1993 Hague Convention). This updating of the registers is free of charge.
Federal Office of Justice – What is the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption (1993 Hague Convention)? (de, fr, it)
As a rule, you must submit the following adoption documents to your Swiss representation with any necessary legalisations so that the representation can forward them to Switzerland:
The original documents are submitted to the civil status authority concerned in Switzerland and must not be older than six months. They will not be returned. Photocopies are not accepted. Additional documents may be required if necessary.
The cost of a thorough verification, should it be necessary, of the foreign civil status documents by a lawyer approved by the Swiss representation are at your expense.
Report the adoption of your child online:
Information on Swiss citizenship is available at
Are your children Swiss or can they become Swiss? (PDF, 2 Pages, 321.2 kB, English)
A standard Swiss identity document can only be issued if the child's adoption has been entered in the Swiss civil status register, and if the adopted child's Swiss nationality has been confirmed by the civil status authority concerned. In case of emergency, please contact your Swiss representation.
If your child does not yet have a Swiss passport, a visa may be required to enter Switzerland.
For a residence permit for your child's stays abroad, please contact the appropriate foreign authorities.