Adoption and family benefits

The family benefits for adoptive parents are largely the same as for biological parents. Adoptive parents are not, however, entitled to maternity allowance, but they are entitled to an extended period of parental allowance.

See also the section titled Benefits for LGBT families for more on adoption, including step-child adoption.

If you adopt a child from another country, you can also claim adoption grant to help cover the costs of the adoption.

When is an adoptive parent eligible for benefits from Kela?

To qualify for benefits, an adoptive parent must be entitled to social security coverage in Finland.

In the case of international adoption, eligibility for adoption grant and maternity grant also requires that the adoption must have been carried out through an international adoption agency and that the Finnish Board of Inter-Country Adoption Affairs has authorised the adoption.

The Board acts under Valvira. In Finland, international adoption services are provided by Interpedia, Save the Children and the Social Services Department of the city of Helsinki.

If you adopt a child from another country through an international adoption agency, the granting of parental allowance and paternity allowance requires a certificate from the adoption agency stating that the child has been placed in your care.

Persons adopting a child from abroad without the facilitation of an adoption agency cannot be paid adoption grant or maternity grant. They can be paid parental allowance, child benefit and, for a child under 3 years of age, child home care allowance. The granting of parental allowance does not require a certificate stating that the child has been placed in your care, but an authorisation for the adoption or some other documentation showing that you have adopted the child and that the child has been placed in your care is needed.

A parent adopting from Finland is entitled to Kela benefits. Finnish adoptions are handled by the municipal social welfare office or by an adoption agency.