Who can adopt a child?

  • Applicant must be at least 25 years old


  • Applicant must be 21 years older than the child

However those restrictions will not apply if;                             

  1. Child is a direct descendant of applicant.
  2. A brother or sister of applicant by full or half blood or descendant of such brother or sister.
  3. A child of the wife or husband of applicant by another father or mother.

Accordingly, a sister, bother, uncle and or aunt can make an application to adopt their relative child.

Adoption by foreigners

  • A foreigner may adopt a child under the provisions of the Adoption of Children (Amendment) Act, No. 38 of 1979.
  • Any person not residing in Sri Lanka may apply for an adoption of a child who resides in Sri Lanka if no other Sri Lankan resident has applied to adopt the said child.

Adoption by a married person

  • The Court may not allow to adopt a female child if the sole applicant is a male, unless there are reasons to justify such application.
  • However an unmarried biological father of female child born outside the marriage who accepts paternity of such child can adopt as the sole adopter.
  • A married person is unable to adopt a child without the consent of his or her spouse. However Court may allow an adoption application if such marriage is dissolved by a competent Court or if the other spouse cannot be found or is of unsound mind.


  • Joint adoptions of a same child can be made if the applicants are lawfully married.


Adoption by a Muslim person

  • Muslims in Sri Lanka may adopt children under the provisions of the