Kessler on Paternity and Legitimation - ICLE Savanna 2007



Legitimation FAQs     

Am I required by federal or state law to readopt my child after completing an international adoption?
If your child was issued an IR-3 immigrant visa, you are not required under federal law to readopt your child, although your state law may require you to do so.

What if my child enters the United States on an IR-4 visa? Do I still need to readopt?
Yes. Re-adoption or adoption is a requirement for all children entering the United States with an IR-4 visa, where the adoption was not completed overseas.

Are there other reasons I might want to consider readopting my child once we are back home?
Even if you’re not required to complete a readoption by law, you may still want to do so for practical reasons. For example, readoption enables you to obtain a U.S. birth certificate from your state of residence for your child. This will make obtaining certified copies of your child's birth certificate much easier in the future. A legal name change can also be completed during readoption in the U.S.

What happens if my family moves to a different state after international adoption or readoption?
Not all states in the U.S. recognize a foreign adoption decree. If you live in one of the states that does recognize the foreign decree, you should be fine. However, if you subsequently move to a place that does not recognize foreign adoption decrees, you could experience complications. For example, your child might not legally be recognized as your heir. Readopting in your state prevents such issues, as all states recognize final adoption decrees from other states.

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