Different rules apply to citizenship for adopted children depending on when the adoption took place. Here, you can see the rules that apply to adopted children under the age of 18.
Children adopted after August 31st 2006
Children adopted by a Norwegian citizen after 31 August 2006 will be granted Norwegian citizenship when they are adopted if they are under 18 at the time of adoption, and either:
- an authorisation to adopt is granted by the Norwegian authority (Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir)),
- the foreign adoption applies in Norway pursuant to the Act relating to adoption (applies in cases where an authorisation to adopt has not been granted).
What is required for a foreign adoption to be valid in Norway?
A foreign adoption is valid in Norway in the following cases:
- The adoption is legally binding/final and has been authorised by the correct foreign adoption authority.
- The Norwegian Children, Youth and Family Affairs Service (Bufetat), or Bufdir has given its prior consent to the adoption, if the child is adopted without the assistance of an approved adoption agency.
- The person(s) adopting the child was living in the country in which the adoption took place at the time of the adoption. If the child was living in Norway at the time of the adoption, it is a requirement that Bufetat has agreed to the adoption.
- Bufdir has recognised the adoption at a later date.
Children who were adopted October 1st 1999 – August 31st 2006
Children adopted by a Norwegian citizen between 1 October 1999 and 31 August 2006, can submit notification of Norwegian citizenship if they are aged between 12 and 18, and
- they are adopted by the authorisation of the Norwegian adoption authority
- the Norwegian adoption authority has agreed to the adoption in advance
Read about how you submit notification of Norwegian citizenship
Children adopted before October 1st 1999
Children adopted prior to 1 October 1999 can submit an application for citizenship if he or she is not already a Norwegian citizen.
If you are unsure of whether you have Norwegian citizenship, you should ask your adoptive mother/father whether they have applied for citizenship for you, or, if applicable, contact the County Governor, the Directorate of Immigration or the Ministry of Justice and Public Security.
Applications for adopted children under the age of 12 were normally processed by the County Governor. Applications were otherwise processed by the Directorate of Immigration (before 1988: The Ministry of Justice and the Police). If the application was granted, a separate document, normally called a certificate of citizenship, was issued.
Children who do not fall into the categories above
Children not covered by the points above must apply for Norwegian citizenship. Read about how to apply for citizenship
If you have more questions about this topic, contact your nearest Norwegian embassy or consulate, the nearest police district or the UDI’s Information Service.