Monday, June 16, 2014

Recognition of Foreign Adoption Part 3

The last, VERY LAST, step of the international adoption process is the recognizing of the foreign adoption in your state’s juvenile court. This part of the process is not talked about very much. To be honest, it was kind of hard to get a lot information on recognition of foreign adoption in our state. Our social worker gave us a website of where we could look for information, but it was very much outdated and other laws have passed since it was posted. The other suggestion that our social worker gave was to hire a lawyer. Boo! I don’t want to spend MORE money! So we decided to file this petition ourselves with our local juvenile court.

We called the clerk at juvenile court and they told us what we needed to do in order to file this petition. Luckily, we had researched a little bit before we left for Poland and started writing the petition as soon as we got back from Poland. We used all of that “extra” waiting time before we left for Poland to research this step, which was a great idea-who wants to write a legal document when you have a newly adopted child?

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers and we can’t give any great legal advice. Every state has different laws regarding the recognition of foreign adoption and every adoption case is unique to the child(ren). I will share what we petitioned to the court and some links that were helpful to us. Also please keep in mind, we were petitioning in Louisiana in May 2014 (laws change frequently).

Before I share our petition, I want to tell you all how nice it was to adopt from a Hague country. Adopting from a Hague country makes this last step some much easier! We did not have to gather extra paperwork or have to do any extra steps. I don't exactly know what all is involved from a non-hague country, so I can't give any good solid advice on what to do. If you do have experience with a non-hague country, please post your final steps in the comments. 

Here is our petition for recognition of foreign adoption:

1st Page:_______________________________________





The joint petition of  and , residents of the Parish of , State of Louisiana, respectfully represent that:
1.   Petitioners are seeking the recognition of their foreign adoption of . All necessary information concerning petitioners and the child is set forth in Exhibit “A”, attached and made part of this petition.
2.   Petitioners are each a domiciliary of the State of Louisiana. Evidence of residency is attached in Exhibit “B” and made part of this petition.
3.   The child has been previously adopted by petitioners on ,  in  in accordance with the law of . The foreign adoption decree with a certified translation and the foreign birth certificate listing the petitioners as parents with certified translation are attached in Exhibit “B” and made part of this petition.
4.   The foreign adoption has been completed in accordance with the Hague Convention and the Intercountry Adoption Act. The Hague Adoption Certificate issued by a United States consular officer pursuant to 22 CFR 42.24(j) is attached in Exhibit “B” and made part of this petition.
5.   The child is a naturalized citizen of the United States in accordance with the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. A copy of the child’s IH-3 visa and a Certificate of Citizenship are attached in Exhibit “B” and made part of this petition.
6.   The petitioners have the ability to care for, maintain, and educate the child.
7.   Petitioners wish to have a final decree of adoption rendered and a judgment issued recognizing the foreign adoption under the laws of the State of Louisiana and have a Louisiana birth certificate issued to them as provided by LSARS.40:79(C) and La.Ch.C.Art 1284.1 et seq.

WHEREFORE, petitioners pray that:
1.   A date for hearing in this matter be set, and
2.   At the first hearing of the petition the Court recognize and give full faith and credit to the foreign decree of adoption and render a final decree of adoption, declaring the child to be the child of petitioners to the same extent as if the child had been born of petitioners’ marriage and a Louisiana birth certificate in the name of  be issued to the adoptive parents,  and .
Respectfully submitted,

*  (printed)

*  (printed)
State of Louisiana
Parish of 
Subscribed and Sworn before me this the  day of , 2014. 

Notary Public 
My Commission Expires

2nd Page_____________________________________________

(a)  Adoptive Father
i.     Full Name: 
ii.    Address: 
iii.   Date of Birth: 
iv.  Age: 
v.   Occupation: 
vi.  Marital Status: 
(b)  Adoptive Mother
i.     Full Name: 
ii.    Address: 
iii.   Date of Birth: 
iv.  Age: 
v.   Occupation: 
vi.  Marital Status: 
2.   CHILD
(a)  Full Name: 
(b)  Place of Birth: 
(c)  Date of Birth: 
(d)  Date and Circumstances under which the Child was Adopted and Entered the Home of the Petitioners: 
(e)  Relationship between the Petitioners and Child: The petitioners are the adoptive parents of the child, having completed the foreign adoption as stated above.

3rd Page____________________________________________
1.   Driver’s Licenses of Petitioners (copy)
2.   Foreign Adoption Decree (Polish) with Certified Translation
3.   Child’s Birth Certificate (Polish) with Certified Translation
4.   Hague Adoption Certificate
5.   Child’s IH-3 Visa (copy)
6.   Certificate of Citizenship

And the rest of our petition included all of the documents listed above in that particular order. Didn't my husband do a great job writing that? He is so good with all that legal jargon. It took him a couple of hours writing, plus additional hours for researching current adoption laws. The clerk's office made copies of our originals on the spot so we got everything back-no lost originals! It took the court about a week to mail us the court decree. Now we wait for vital records to contact us about our daughter's birth certificate.

Resources for Louisiana adoption laws that we found helpful:

If you have completed this step and live in a different parish/county or state, please post your resources that were helpful to you or post a link on what you submitted to your court.

Click here to see part 2 and part 1 of recognition of foreign adoption. 

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