Simple adoption and plenary adoption: what differences?

Verified 01 January 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The 2 forms of adoption differ on a number of topics: ties to the family of origin, parental authority, name of adopted person, inheritance,...

Tableau - Effects for each type of adoption


Simple adoption

Plenary adoption

Link to the original family

The adopted maintains all links with his family of origin.

The adopted person acquires a news parentage which replaces the original one.

Parental authority

Parental authority is exclusively and fully attributed to the adoptive parent(s), unless adoption of a child of the spouse, Civil partnership partner or cohabiting partner.

In this case, the latter retain sole exercise of parental authority unless jointly declared before the Registrar of the Court of Justice.

Parental authority is exclusively and in full assigned to the adoptive parent(s).

In the case of adoption of the child of the Civil partnership, partner or cohabiting partner, it shall be carried out jointly.

Maintenance obligation

The adopter(s) shall food to the adopted and vice versa.

The biological parent(s) of the adoptee are only required to provide food to the adoptee if the adoptee is unable to obtain it from the adoptee.

The adopted person does not owe food to his biological parents if he has been admitted as a ward of the State or taken care of by the social welfare authorities.

The adoptive parent owes the adoptive parent food and reciprocalliar.

Name of the adopted person

The name of the adopter shall be added to the adopted person's name or replace it.

Under certain conditions, the original name may be retained.

The adopted person automatically takes the name of the adoptant

First name of the adopted person

It is possible to ask the judge for a change of name of the adopted person

It is possible to ask the judge for a change of name of the adopted person


Simple adoption doesn't adopted children of to become French.

The adoptive parent(s) of the child must apply for it by making a declaration.

The adopted adult must apply for naturalization to become French.

The child adoptse during his minority becomes automatically french if one of the parents (adoptive parents) is a French national. He is considered French from birth.

Right to succession

The adopted inherits the 2 families : of his family of origin and his adoptive family.

The adopted person does not benefit from the transfer duty free in his adoptive family. It pays the same fees as unrelated persons (60%) except in certain cases (child of the spouse, ward of the State ...).

He's not heir in title in respect of his adoptive grandparents (who may disinherit him)

The adopted child inherits from his adoptive parents. He's the heir to the reservation.

He doesn't inherit from his family.


Simple adoption can be revoked by judgment for serious grounds.

The plenary adoption is irrevocable

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