If you've adopted a child from abroad, you may have heard the term “re-adoption.” This concept can be confusing and overwhelming for parents. In today's blog post we're breaking it down so that you can better understand what it is and why it is sometimes necessary. If you are the parent of an internationally adopted child, we hope this blog post can give you some insight into why re-adopting can be beneficial or even necessary.
In an international adoption, the parents adopt the child while abroad, typically in the country of the child's origin. Re-adoption is when they repeat the adoption process after arriving back home in the United States. Different states have different laws regulating the necessity or lack thereof for re-adoption, as will the country from which you adopted your child. You are only free of this obligation if both your home state and the child's country of origin say so.
Typically, countries that are part of the Hague Convention (a treaty that expedites the return of internationally abducted children) will not require you to complete re-adoption after returning to the United States. That being said, some of the most popular countries to adopt from, such as Ethopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ukraine, are not part of the Hague Convention, making re-adoption in the United States necessary.
The state of North Carolina does not require re-adoption. If you live in another state, you should look into your state's requirements. If you live in North Carolina, though, it still may be in your child's best interest to do a re-adoption even if you adopted them from a country that is a part of the Hague Convention. Let's look at some of the reasons it can be beneficial:
1. Get backed by the U.S. government for peace of mind.
Prevent the validity of your adoption from being called into question because of coups, radicalization, regime changes and other events that occur in volatile countries. In case something happens abroad that changes or negates your adoption, re-adopting in the United States ensures that your relationship with your child will be recognized and backed by the U.S. government, giving you peace of mind.
2. Ensure your child is eligible for benefits.
Re-adopting in the United States ensures that your child is officially recognized as your child. This is necessary for them to inherit from you or your family members or receive social security.
3. Name change.
We often encounter parents who want to change their child's name. We also encounter parents who realize there are inaccuracies or misspellings in their child's paperwork from abroad. Corrections to these issues can be made in the re-adoption process.
4. Ease of communication.
As you move forward on the adventure of parenthood, it is ideal to have your adoption papers in English, not the language of the country where your child was adopted. Avoid miscommunication with school representatives, doctors, and other important entities by making it easier for them to understand your adoption papers. Re-adoption can spare you from stress, confusion, and red tape down the road.
Who can help?
If you are a parent of an internationally adopted child and want to learn more about re-adoption, or are ready to begin the process, contact the qualified team at the Law Offices of Regina M. Taylor today. We are excited to partner with you on this amazing journey!