Designated List Countries for Adoptions

The UK will normally recognise an adoption order made under the law in any of the countries named on the ‘Designated List’. The countries on the Designated List is give below. The adopted child does not, however, gain British citizenship automatically and this must be applied for separately whilst the child is still a minor.

Although you may have gone through the formalities of adoption overseas, your case must still be assessed by a UK adoption agency to establish that you are a suitable person to adopt a child by their criteria. This however does not apply if the adoption is a recognised Hague Convention Adoption which was effected within the 12 month period leading up to the adopted-child being brought to the UK.

The rules and process governing recognition of British citizenship status of the adopted child are complex. You should book a consultation for legal advice to verify whether adoption in question is recognised and whether the child really does qualify.


The Adoption (Designation of Overseas Adoptions) Order 1973 – Schedule


  • Australia

  • Bahamas

  • Barbados

  • Bermuda

  • Botswana

  • British Honduras

  • British Virgin Islands

  • Canada

  • Cayman Islands

  • The Republic of Cyprus

  • Dominica

  • Fiji

  • Ghana

  • Gibraltar

  • Guyana

  • Hong Kong

  • Jamaica

  • Kenya

  • Lesotho

  • Malawi

  • Malaysia

  • Malta

  • Mauritius

  • Montserrat

  • New Zealand

  • Nigeria

  • Pitcairn

  • St. Christopher, Nevis and Anguilla

  • St. Vincent

  • Seychelles

  • Singapore

  • Southern Rhodesia

  • Sri Lanka

  • Swaziland

  • Tanzania

  • Tonga

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • Uganda

  • Zambia


  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroes)

  • Finland

  • France (including Réunion, Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guyana)

  • The Federal Republic of Germany and Land Berlin (West Berlin)

  • Greece

  • Iceland

  • The Republic of Ireland

  • Israel

  • Italy

  • Luxembourg

  • The Netherlands (including Surinam and the Antilles)

  • Norway

  • Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira)

  • South Africa and South West Africa

  • Spain (including the Balcarics and the Canary Islands)

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland

  • Turkey

  • The United States of America

  • Yugoslavia