Many families contact us after their adoption inquiring about a birth certificate for their adopted child. Completing the re-adoption process is the only way for an internationally adopted child to receive a United States birth certificate. This would mean that you adopted your child in their native country and he/she entered the US on an IR3 Visa. The re-adoption process is the formal registration of a foreign adoption in the US courts and is sometimes referred to as such.
If your child has an IR4 Visa, then you need to complete a different process, finalizing the adoption in the US. This means that you either did not have the opportunity to observe the child before the adoption took place or that the country you adopted from requires the adoption to be finalized in the US. In these cases, families need to work with an attorney and complete a domestic adoption through the local court system.
It is important to complete the re-adoption so that your child will have a state issued birth certificate from the US. While some entities recognize adoption documents from other countries, many do not. Families often have trouble with obtaining a driver’s license from the BMV, enrolling their child in college, or getting a US passport for example. There is no time limit, so you can complete the process at any time after the adoption. However, we do recommend that you complete it as soon as possible to ensure that your child has the appropriate documents.
The re-adoption process varies by state. With most states, it is typically easy and at a low cost to the family. You can check with your placement or home study agency for advice about the process. KidsFirst does offer this service to families living in Indiana. Once paperwork is filed, it generally takes 3-4 months to receive the new birth certificate. The certificate will include the child’s full adopted name, as well as the names of the adoptive mother and father. It will be issued by the State but will show the child’s country of birth. KidsFirst would be happy to assist you with your re-adoption. Please contact us should you have any questions. This is such an important final step in the adoption process!