Adoptions in Sweden

A long tradition of inter-country adoptions

Sweden has a long tradition of inter-country adoptions – adoptive families and adoptees are a tangible feature of our society. Swedish families have been adopting children from other countries since the 1960s. More than 48,000 children have found a family and a home in Sweden.

Sweden has the highest per capita proportion of international adoptees in the world. In practice, this means that the vast majority of Swedes have personal experience of adoption. There is a good chance of having a relative, friend or neighbour who has adopted or is an adoptee. Adoption is an accepted and well-established way of forming a family in Sweden.

The first generations of adoptees have now grown up. Many of them have in different contexts chosen to share their experiences with younger generations and families that are in the process of adopting. A number of adult adoptees feature prominently in public life in Sweden and have become well-known as authors, politicians, journalists, musicians and sportsmen. There are many role models for young adoptees. Adoptees are represented throughout Swedish society.


Support to families and children 

Once the adoption process has been completed, the child acquires the same rights as if it had been born in the family. Adoptive families are therefore entitled to the same social benefits as other families. They are allowed to stay at home with the child and be financially compensated for 16 months. Parents can get this benefit starting from the day the child is placed into their care. Single adoptive parents can get a single parent allowance. When adopting from another country through an authorized adoption organisation, you are entitled to an adoption allowance.

All families in Sweden get a child allowance for children up to 16 years of age, which can be prolonged up to 20 years of age if the child studies. Furthermore, all children in Sweden have the right to free public education including university level. School lunches are provided free of charge up to high school level.

Healthcare and dental care are also free of charge for children, and medicines are subsidized. Parents are entitled to temporary parental benefits when caring for a sick child.

Moreover, the Social Services Act requires that special attention must be paid to families with adopted children.



Family Law and Parental Support Authority (MFOF) is a government authority under the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. MFOF is also the Central Authority under the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption. It is the task of MFOF to establish a high quality in intercountry adoption operation in Sweden. In particular MFOF shall monitor that intercountry adoption intermediation in Sweden is conducted according to law and the principle of the best interest of the child as expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and in the 1993 Hague Convention. Read more about MFOF here.

(Information taken from MFOF´s webpage)