[Question]What formalities should my Japanese spouse follow to adopt a foreign-born child from my previous marriage?

International adoptions are subject to the laws of the country where adoptive parents live. Additionally an adoptive child must meet legal requirements specified by the law of the child’s country from the view point of their protection. For example, if the law of the child’s country of origin requires approval of the child himself or a third party, or permission from public organizations, you need to satisfy the requirements in order to legalize an international adoption procedure. Your particular case is governed by the Japanese law which is the law of your spouse country. The Article 798 of the Civil Code in Japan provides that adopting a minor obliges permission from the Family Court. However, the proviso of the same article says that a step-child can be adopted independently, without court authorization. For details, please contact your municipal office.