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Published: 20 August 2020

Number of adoptions decreased

According to Statistics Finland, there were 370 adoptions in Finland in 2019. The number of domestic adoptions was 291 and that of international adoptions 79. The number adoptions of children born in both Finland and abroad decreased from the previous year. In total, the number of adoptions was 34 lower than in 2018.

Adoptions by place of birth of adopted in 1987–2019

Adoptions by place of birth of adopted in 1987–2019

Around one-quarter of all adoptions were adoptions of adults

In total, 186 were girls and 184 boys of all persons adopted in Finland in 2019. Good one-quarter of persons adopted were aged 18 or over, which is similar to the last few years. The majority of those adopted as adults were born in Finland and in most cases, it was adoption within the family. In about 60 per cent of adoptions of persons born abroad the adopted child was aged under five, whereas in domestic adoptions only about one-half of the adopted were aged under five.

Most adoptions from South Africa

Of adopted children born abroad most were born in South Africa (25). The next most common countries of birth were Thailand (13 children) and Colombia (10 children). Around 52 per cent of adopted children born abroad were boys. South Africa and Thailand have been the most common countries of adoption in previous years as well.

Adoptive parents most typically aged 40 to 44

Two out of three adoptions of children born abroad were adoptions by two parents. Of domestic adoptions, 14 per cent were adoptions by two parents. In adoptions of children born abroad by two parents, the adoptive mother was typically aged 35 to 39 or 40 to 44 and the adoptive father was aged 40 to 44.

Two out of three adoptions within families

Thirty-four per cent (127) of adoptions were adoptions outside the family and 66 per cent (243) were adoptions within the family. Adoption within the family refers to the process by which a married spouse or the other partner of a registered partnership adopts his/her spouse's biological child. Of the adoptions within the family, 127 were adoptions in families of registered partnerships or same-sex married couples.

Source: Population and Justice Statistics. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Katariina Heikkilä 029 551 3638,

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 20.8.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Adoptions [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-738X. 2019. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.4.2024].
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