Re-adoption is the process of adopting a child according to state laws after that child has been adopted in another country. The process involves a state court’s review of certain documents provided by the adoptive parents and validation of the foreign adoption.

Re-adoption is not always required in international adoption, but it is strongly recommended for all families who choose this type of adoption. The process helps protect the adoption from a legal challenge in the state court and ensures the child’s ability to obtain a U.S. birth certificate, inherit from his or her parents, and more.

Below, learn more about international adoption in Kansas City and the legal services Kevin Kenney can provide to ensure your international adoption is legally recognized and secure.

When is international re-adoption required?

Whether a re-adoption is required in your international adoption depends on the type of visa your child was issued to enter the United States. The country you are adopting from and the circumstances of your adoption will determine the type of visa you receive — usually an IR-3, IR-4, or IHR-4 visa. Below, learn more about each type of visa and their re-adoption requirements.

  • An IR-3 visa is issued to an adopted child when both parents saw the child before they were granted the adoption in the child’s birth country. Children who receive an IR-3 visa should automatically be granted a certificate of citizenship, meaning re-adoption is not required (though still recommended).
  • An IR-4 or IHR-4 visa may be issued to a child when only one of the parents saw the child prior to the adoption, or when the child is entering the United States on a guardianship. For these types of visas, additional steps are required to obtain a certificate of citizenship for the child. This process involves submitting certain paperwork to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), including a re-adoption decree issued by a U.S. court. This means that a re-adoption is required to show that the foreign adoption is legally recognized in the United States.

While it is not legally required in Kansas or Missouri that you re-adopt in order for your international adoption to be recognized in the state, and while you may not need to complete a re-adoption to obtain your child’s certificate of citizenship if you received an IR-3 visa, it is still highly recommended that every family who adopts internationally complete a re-adoption.

Why Re-Adopt?

There are many benefits of re-adoption for adoptive families. Here are a few reasons why every international adoptive family should consider a re-adoption:

  • Re-adoption ensures your child’s adoption will be legally recognized everywhere in the United States, including states that do require re-adoption before they will recognize a foreign adoption
  • It is easier to obtain a copy of a domestic adoption decree than a foreign adoption decree
  • Failure to re-adopt may affect inheritance rights and other rights for your child
  • A domestic adoption decree may be necessary to enroll your child in school and college
  • Re-adoption allows you to legally change your child’s name and obtain a U.S. birth certificate issued by your state

It is strongly encouraged that all families pursuing international adoption in Kansas City complete the re-adoption process. While it may seem overwhelming, re-adoption is a simple legal process that often takes only a matter of weeks to complete.

Kevin Kenney can provide all of the services necessary to complete your international re-adoption in Kansas or Missouri, including:

  • Submitting necessary documentation to the court, including a copy of the foreign adoption decree and proof that the child entered the United States lawfully (usually a copy of the visa or the child’s certificate of citizenship if he or she has one already)
  • Filing an adoption petition with the court stating that the child was lawfully adopted abroad and legally entered the United States
  • Appearing in court to formally finalize the international re-adoption

Re-adoption is a simple and inexpensive process that can have major benefits for your family. By completing an international re-adoption, you are ensuring your adoption is secure and providing peace of mind that your child’s adoption and citizenship will never be challenged as he or she gets older. To learn more about the benefits of international re-adoption and the process to legally re-adopt your child in Kansas or Missouri, contact Kevin Kenney for a free consultation.