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Old 29.07.2020, 22:20
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Re: Adoption / Bringing our (10 years old) nephew to live and study with us

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Did you check the Recognised Liaison Adoption Services in the link I provided? They may be able to help

Also in this one there's a link for adopting abroad which may provide some info for your situation.


As for getting a residence permit for him, only via adoption or maybe as his legal guardian. There are no other ways, since it looks like family reunification wouldn't work without the adoption/guardianship.

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, we did check those options. We actually got a meeting with the adoption center here in Zürich.

Another option we will explore is the grandmother to adopt the kid directly in Mongolia. The (grand)mother could come to Zürich based on the family reunification criteria. But then, I am unsure if we could do the same with the kid.

So kind of
1) Grandmother becomes mother
2) Grandmother is still the mother of my wife.
3) Grandmother gets residence permit as for the family reunification criteria
4) Kinds gets residence permit as direct descended minor depended on another person who has residence permit.

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This part worries me. In Switzerland, the overriding concept with regard to children is that the steps taken must be shown to be in the childn's best interests. And it is considered the norm that it is in the child's best interests to be able to have ready contact to both parents, and be involved in an an active relationship with both.

Because of this, there really is no such concept, here in Switzerland, of just taking on the legal responsibility for a child without that being formalised.

From a Swiss perspective, for an adoption to be considered genuine, it is highly likely that questions would be asked not only about the child's mother's suitability to look after him, but also about that of the father.

For you to become the guardian(s), (in a way that is considered valid by Swiss authorities) you would most likely need at least
  • the consent of both parents, or
  • a judgment of a Court, deeming the parents unable to take a decision, or
  • a judgment of a Court deeming that it is in the best interests of the child to remove the natural parental authority from the parents and place it with you, and
  • depending on the child's age, perhaps also his consent.

Naturally, each of these aspects would have to be proved in detail: not only the unsuitability of the child's parents, but also your suitability.

I completely understand the reasons behinds, and I understand as well that the law needs to be somehow generic. And it is a pity, because there is no father (single mother), the biological mother never took care of him, the grandmother age is not ideal for taking care of the kid. Additionally, he is a mix child, so he faces discrimination in the school.

Even though we believe the best for the kid would be to be here, even if he really wants (we asked him as well if he wants to adopt us as his parents), my parents are very much looking forward, the kid wants to have a father and my parents as grandparents, it might not seem like that on the paper as 1)He does not speak German, 2)Even if the mother did not take care of him it is not documented, so from the social services perspective the adoption might be rejected as "the integration in Mongolia is in place and the integration in Switzerland might be complicated".

Note that the biological mother completely agrees with the adoption and the kid as well, so from the consent perspective that is not a problem. There is as well complete flexibility from the grandmother and us. We though adoption was the easiest possibility, but after the meeting with the adoption center, it does not seem that straight forward (there is not good communication between Mongolian institutions and Swiss institutions, as there might be with the USA).
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Old 30.07.2020, 00:29
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Re: Adoption / Bringing our (10 years old) nephew to live and study with us

If I were in your shoes, I would do some or all of the following, parallel:

Since you know that these two worlds do not communicate well/easily: learn to be that inter-cultural bridge, yourselves. As you embark on this process, your most useful helper will be anyone you can find who has already achieved an adoption, in Switzerland, from Mongolia.
  1. Read up about the regular Swiss processes of adoption, i.e. what you would have to do, here, if you were going to adopt a child who is already living in Switzerland. Understand all the criteria, the tests, the forms, the guarantees, etc., that would be required of you. Learn the central formal terms.

  2. Ditto re adoption process in the Mongolian jurisdiction where the child now resides.

  3. Then map the two countries' adoption processes against each other. Learn about the differences. Wherever the process in Mongolia does not work the same way as in Switzerland, see if you can still design a way to obtain an equivalent Mongolian document, anyway, for the Swiss authorities, and vice versa.
For example:
  • If the Swiss adoption process requires an assessment report by a child psychologist (I have no idea of this, please understand that this is just an example), but the Mongolian process does not, try to find get a Mongolian psychologist's report, anyway.
  • If the Swiss adoption process requires a declaration about the father, write down the history of the encounter, and all the known details of the father and current whereabouts. Put this information in an affidavit, and have the child's mother have this verified, formalised, perhaps by signing it in front of a police officer, who would also sign and stamp with a rubber stamp.
Find out whether there are formal standards for documentary evidence of the clear decisions of each adult involved, to prove that all agree that this would be the best for the child. If there are no critera, write your own, perhaps along these lines:
  • The mother's statement might include, for example, why she considers herself to be unfit to be the child's mother, and what happened to his father, and that is he far, far away and not participating in raising the child. Also that she believes would be better for him to be adopted by you. Include, there, not only "Switzerland is wonderful", but much better a way of esteeming you and believing that you can provide emotional stability and practical care. Also, that she understands the consequences of passing parental authority over to her sister, and also that you really live far, far away.

  • A statement by the grandmother, stating all the tasks she performed thus far, and that she needs to stop.

  • Your statement should express concern for the boy, and show that he needs security and love. Specify, with the sister, when she might see him again, if at all. List the financial costs (of the adoption, and of real life month to month and annually) of which you know, and set this in relation to your income. Best if one adoptive parent in Switzerland is full-time at home, at least to start with. Mention that you have researched language, school, medical suppliers, possibility of his withdrawing from his mother as he transfers his affections, etc.

Work systematically to gain ALL the documents that both countries regard as normal parts of an adoption. Remember: Your goal will be to fulfil all the adoption criteria in both countries, so that neither side can fault you, or fault the adoption process [of the other country].

If you approach this meticulously, it will most likely soon become clear to you if you are likely to fail on some central factor that you just cannot fulfil (for example, if you are far too old, or if you do not have birth certificates, or if your income is too low to provide for the child at the standards considered normal by the Swiss authorities). If that's the case, it would probably be best to relinquish the idea of adopting, and work out other ways to provide for the child.

If it looks like you'll have a realistic chance, brace yourselves to spend 6 to 12 months getting all the paperwork in order.

Have all the Mongolian documents translated into German (since you live in Zurich).

If you do not both already have a good command of German, then fix that, as fast as you can.

Ditto knowing your way around, geographically, and understanding, in general, how Switzerland ticks, each of you independently of the other, and together. Inform yourselves about school and extra-curricular activities, know enough so that either parent could competently accompany the child when dealing with a medical emergency. Children learn by example, and since the Swiss authorities will want the child to integrate, they will also most likely be interested in the extent to which the adoptive parents are successfully integrated.

Good luck!
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