People are often confused about whether or not they are required to domesticate their foreign adoption, or “re-adopt” their internationally adopted child. Do you know what to do?
Here is a Simple Rule of Thumb:
- If your child was issued an IR-3 or IH-3 immigrant visa, you are not required under federal law to readopt your child, or “domesticate” your foreign adoption, here in the U.S.
- If your child entered the U.S. with an IR-4 or IH-4 visa, where the adoption was not completed overseas, re-adoption within the United States is required. This is common in cases where you were given a legal Guardianship (or custody) by the foreign country giving you permission to bring the child into the United States for the purpose of adoption. You will need to finalize your adoption as soon as possible in your home state upon your return to the United States. United States citizenship can then be applied for and obtained for your child.
But your analysis should not stop there. Even if you received a Final Decree of Adoption (and your child was issued an IR-3 or IH-3 visa) in the foreign country and are not required to domesticate your foreign adoption (re-adopt), there are important practical reasons to domesticate your foreign adoption in your home state.
- Domesticating your foreign adoption decree allows you to obtain a United States birth certificate (“Certificate of Foreign Birth”) for your child from your home state. This will allow you to obtain certified copies of your child’s birth certificate in the future should you ever need any (which definitely happens).
- Domesticating your foreign decree will allow you to legally change your child’s name.
- Domesticating your foreign decree also provides you with an American adoption decree should your foreign decree ever be lost, damaged, or called into question.
For more information on international adoption please call us anytime for a consultation.