Child Adoption procedures

1. The foreign applicants who desire to adopt Sri Lankan children are required to forward their joint applications to the Commissioner of Probation and Child Care Services whose address is given below : Commissioner Department of Probation and Child Care Services 150A Nawala Road Nugegoda Sri Lanka Telephone Nos: 94 11 285 3596 Fax No: 94 11 285 2393 E-mail:
2. The application should be accompanied by a Home Study Report (in duplicate) in respect of the applicants from an institution recognized by the country of the applicants and authenticated by the accredited representative for the Republic of Sri Lanka in that country. Passport size photographs of the applicants should be attached to both copies of the Home Study Report. The applicants should deal with the Department of Probation and Child Care Services through their respective Adoption agencies.
3. The applications together with the Home Study Report (in duplicate) should be sent to the Sri Lanka Overseas Mission for authentication and transmission to the Department of Probation and Child Care Services in Sri Lanka. The applicants must attach to the Home Study Report a formal letter (in duplicate) requesting a child for adoption together with their preference, if any. In addition to the Home Study Report applicants should forward certified copies of their Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificate, Health Certificates, Employment Records, Police Report on the conduct and activities of the applicants etc., with certified English Translation, when documents are in another language. Each and every page of the document should be authenticated by the Sri Lankan High Commission in the country of the applicants. Applications not in conformity with these requirements will be rejected.
4. When the Commissioner finds a suitable child after-assessment of the Home Study Report of the applicants, a letter will be issued intimating Commissioners decision to the adoption agency, which has forwarded the application. The Adoption Agency is expected to intimate the same to the applicants. The applicants will have to come to Sri Lanka only after receiving Commissioner’s letter of allocation. No foreign applicants can find children for adoption privately. Allocation of children can be made only from the State Receiving Homes and Voluntary Children’s Homes that are registered by the Department of Probation and Child Care Services and only by the Commissioner. 4.1 Upon receipt of the Commissioner’s letter the applicants should make arrangements their travel to Sri Lanka. The applicants will have to stay about 4 to 5 weeks in Sri Lanka, until all formalities connected with the adoption are completed. 4.2 After their arrival in Sri Lanka applicants should present themselves for an interview at the under mentioned address. Applicants should produce at the interview their passports and the letter sent to them by the commissioner. Address: Department of Probation and Child Care Services No. 95, Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha P O Box 546, Colombo 2. Telephone Nos. (94-1) 381210 or 448577 Fax No. 94 1 327600 Working days : Monday to Friday Time : 09.00 hrs – 16.45 hrs

5. Information regarding hotel accommodation and other facilities available to visitors to this country could be obtained from the Sri Lankan Mission in the applicant’s country.
6. After the interview of the applicants they will be issued with a letter by the Commissioner authorizing them to see the child at the particular children’s home. However, they should not take the child out of the custody of the person in-charge for any purpose without the prior approval of the Commissioner. Authority will be given to the applicant for the purpose of medical examination of the child, if such necessity does arise. 6.1 At the same time the applicants should arrange to institute court proceedings for which they should engage the services of an Attorney-at-Law.
7. After the adoption, copies of the adoption order should be obtained upon application to the court that made the order. 7.1 A copy of the Certificate of Adoption should be obtained from the Registrar – General, whose office is situated at R A De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 3. 7.2 The Certificate of Adoption (after registration) should be attached to the application for the issue of a passport of the child. Application for the issue of passport should be made to the Department of Immigration and Emigration (Passport Section) at Station Road, Colombo 4. Applicants should consult their respective Diplomatic Missions regarding the issue of the visa for the adopted child.
8. Where the adoption laws of the adoptive parents country of domicile do not provide for automatic recognition of adoptions authorized by a court of law outside their country, the adoptive parents should take early steps to institute legal proceedings in their country of domicile and a copy of the fresh adoption Order should be sent to this Department.
9. Adoptive parents should furnish to the Department (a) quarter yearly Progress Reports on the child prepared by a recognized Adoption Agency until the adoption is legally confirmed in their country of domicile. (b) half-yearly in respect of such child along with the child’s photograph for a period of 3 years from the date on which the adoption is legally confirmed in the receiving country (c) yearly in respect of such child until he or she reaches the age of 10 years. Legal Requirements.
10. The application to Court must be made jointly by the husband and wife.

10.1 Each of the applicants must be over the age of 25 years and not less than 21 years older than the child in respect of whom the application is made.

10.2 The personal attendance of both spouses is required during the court proceedings, unless the Court dispensed with the personal attendance of one of them, on grounds of ill health supported by a Medical Certificate issued by a Medial Practitioner recognized by the Government of the country of the applicants. In such cases, power of attorney would also be necessary.

10.3 A report on the social and psychological aspects of the adoption must be furnished by the Commissioner of Probation and Child Care Services for consideration of Court in accordance with Section 3 Sub Section (6) of Adoption of Children (Amendment) Act No. 38 of 1979.

10.4 The period fixed by the Court for the submission of the Commissioner’s Report shall be not less than 14 days and not more than 28 days from the date on which the Court calls for the report.

10.5 The Commissioner is required to annex to his/her report a Home Study Report in respect of the applicants from an institution recognized by the country of the applicants and authenticated by the accredited representative of the Republic of Sri Lanka in the country of the applicants.

NOTE – A Home Study Report means a report on the mental health of the applicants, and their social, religious and financial background and their suitability to adopt a child. Overseas Social Welfare Agencies/Departments must include information on these specific aspects in the Home Study Reports prepared in respect of proposed adoptive parents.

10.6 All applications for adoption of a Sri Lankan child by persons not resident and domiciled in Sri Lanka shall be made to the District Court of Colombo and District Court of Colombo South or such other District Court as may be confirmed jurisdiction for such purpose by regulation which may be formed from time to time.

10.7 Every application for adoption of a child must be in conformity with the provisions of the Adoption of Children Ordinance (Chapter 6) as amended and rules framed there under. Attention is particularly drawn to section 3 and 5 of the Ordinance which relate to restriction in marking of Adoption Orders, matters with regard to which Court must be satisfied and terms and conditions of Adoption Orders respectively.

11. The applicants should abstain from making any payment or giving any reward to any person in consideration of the adoption except such as the Court may sanction. Legal action would be taken against those who commit this offence.
12. The maximum number of adoptions that can be allowed during each calendar year will be gazetted by the Hon. Minister and the Sri Lankan Missions abroad will be kept informed every year of such ceiling.
13. The Department may, as the need arises, amend the procedure followed by the department, in which case our Overseas Missions will be informed of the changes. NOTE : The application should be duly authenticated by the Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Canberra, Australia in accordance with the instructions given under “Authentication of Documents”.


Register with the High Commission

The Sri Lankan High Commission in Canberra would like to keep in touch with Sri Lankans and persons of Sri Lankan origin living in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and other Pacific Islands as well as Sri Lankan community organisations in those countries.

If you are a current/former Sri Lankan or an office bearer of a Sri Lankan community organisation we invite you to register with the High Commission.



Sri Lanka High Commission
61, Hampton Circuit
ACT 2600

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