Adoption can be a lengthy, stressful and expensive process. It's a joyful occasion when, after months of hoping and worrying, you can finally hold your new baby in your arms. However, if you adopted in another country, there is an important final step you should consider taking once you've brought your child back to the United States. The process is known as "international re-adoption", which is a validation of your international adoption by the U.S. government.
In most states in the U.S., the requirement for international re-adoption is dictated by the circumstances of the case. In the vast majority of states--including New Jersey and Pennsylvania--re-adoption is an option for all international adoptions, but not a requirement. There are circumstances, though, under which it is compulsory. Parents are always required to pursue international adoption for children entering the country on an IH-4 or IR-4 vis a. In Pennsylvania, re-adoption is also mandatory if is it determined that the adoption abroad was not finalized properly.
Regardless of whether your case requires international re-adoption, it is always an extremely valuable certificate of validation that benefits both the child and the adoptive parents.
When you go through international re-adoption, you receive a U.S. adoption decree, which can include a legal name change, if you wish. This decree offers enormous security to you and your family. In contrast to a similar decree issued abroad, a U.S. adoption decree is accepted throughout the U.S. and safeguards your parental rights anywhere in the country. It ensures that the authenticity of your adoption can never been questioned--even if adoption laws in your child's home country subsequently change.
At the end of a long and exhausting adoption process, it can be tempting to wash your hands of additional paperwork and focus on starting your family. However, the long-term benefits of international re-adoption outweigh any short-term inconveniences. An experienced adoption attorney can help walk you through the process.