Adoption

Under general circumstances, it is the parents of the child who have parental responsibility.  Parental responsibility includes daily care and the right and obligation to make decisions for the child. Therefore, even if care of the child has been taken over by the municipality, the parents still retain certain rights over the child. This includes the right to decide if the child should move out of the country, and the right to decide whether the child should be placed for adoption.

In the case of adoption, all legal ties between the child and their parents are severed, and parental responsibility is transferred to the adoptive parents.  If the daily care for a child is administrated by the municipality, the child's parents may voluntarily choose to allow the child to be adopted.  The law gives the County Social Welfare Boards (Boards) the authority to make a compulsory decision about the deprival of parental responsibility, adoption. 

An administrative decision/ruling regarding compulsory adoption is a severe intervention, and can only be made when it is probable that the child is likely to grow up in the foster home, and it is considered to be in the child's best interest.  This may be the case, for instance, because the parental neglect is permanent, or because the child has developed ties to the foster parents, and the possibility of moving the child back with the parents may cause severe problems for the child. Foster parents must prove - over a longer period of time - that they are capable of giving good care to the child. Deprival of parental responsibility, adoption (In Norwegian adopsjon) is seldom implemented.  When it is implemented, it is usually due to the fact the child has lived a couple of years in a foster home.

The European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8 imposes strict conditions for implementing the deprival of parental responsibility - adoption. The Supreme Court of Norway requires the existence of "heavily weighted reasons" in order for a decision to be made about compulsory adoption against the parents' will.  This requirement is consistent with what the European Convention on Human Rights Convention has posed in its rulings.