Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.
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Foreign Adoption

If you have adopted a child from abroad, there are several steps to take to finalize the adoption domestically. A re-adoption being filed in the United States can serve a few purposes. It can allow for an adoption decree that is in English. It can be required for immigration purposes. It may also be helpful for effectuating a name change of the child if not already completed.

The procedure for re-adoption in Bucks County is similar to domestic adoptions. It begins by filing a Report of Intent to Adopt. There is only one post-placement visit required that is usually completed by the agency the parties worked with for the foreign adoption. Once report is completed, petition for adoption can be filed. Copies of all the foreign documents (ex. Birth certificate, decree of guardianship, adoption decree) shall be translated if necessary, certified, and presented to the court for adoption hearing.

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An alternative to refiling for adoption is to have a foreign decree of adoption registered with a local court. For this option the parents would file a certified copy of the foreign divorce decree with the court. It should be noted that no English language adoption decree will be issued, and the other issues addressed above will not be automatically resolved. A Pennsylvania birth certificate can be acquired through registration of a foreign adoption if at least one of the parents signs a statement regarding their US citizenship and PA residency. This allows the local court to register the foreign adoption with the Division of Vital Records as well.

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