Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why Should I Readopt My Child?

As noted under the topic of an IR-3 vs. IR-4 visa, when a child comes to the US on an IR-4 visa, they MUST be readopted here in the US in their home state. Then the parents can obtain a certificate of citizenship for their child.

There are other reasons to be sure to complete a readopt or equivalent in your home state. Here in Washington State a family is required to do a “re-adoption” but some states have a system of filing information with the county or state. What is important is that you follow the requirements of your state to complete the paperwork needed for US immigration so that your child can be citizen.

However, if your child comes to the US on an IR-3 visa and is automatically a citizen, there are still reasons to complete a re-adoption or equivalent in your home state.

  1. First, you may need to complete a legal name change for your child. Unless your child’s passport has the full name that you want your child to have, you will need to go through the process to complete a name change. Some insurance companies and medical clinics require that you use the child’s legal name for service. Some will let you use the name you are planning to call your child. You do need to do a legal name change. By doing a legal name change you can also get your child’s certificate of citizenship completed in their new legal name as well.
  2. A re-adoption will make sure your child’s adoption is recognized so that if a parent dies the child can receive social security death benefits until they are 18. This may have been mostly taken care of by the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000, but a re-adoption makes sure that your child qualifies.
  3. A re-adoption makes sure that your child is treated equally with biological or other adopted siblings when the parents die and the estate is settled. It may look now like the “kids all get along” and that it won’t be an issue, but a re-adoption is another layer making sure your adopted child is treated equally.
  4. A re-adoption is a good way to get a local birth certificate. Your child will have an easily accessible birth certificate to use for the first day of school, taking drivers education or going on a cruise. Hm. I’m wondering now why it was I needed a birth certificate as well as a passport to go on that cruise to Mexico a decade ago. . .oh well. . . Anyway! And, should your child want to adopt in the future, they will have a nice, easily accessible local birth certificate handy for use at any time.


Kathy L, MA


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this information! I have been curious about the difference between the IR-3 and IR-4 Visas but hadn't had time to "google." :) And that cruise ship sure looks like a lot of fun!