Adoption Lawyer Serving Leesburg, Loudoun, Fairfax, Ashburn, Manassas, Winchester and Northern Virginia --- The Law Firm of Karen S. Law.


Why Should we Re-Adopt?

If you obtained a final order of adoption in the foreign country AND one spouse personally saw the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings, you are not required to re-adopt. Currently, USCIS will forward your child's Certificate of Citizenship thirty to forty-five days after you and your child enter the United States. Some states, such as Virginia, provide an expedited method to obtain a US birth certificate through their Division of Vital Records without formally re-adopting the child.

However, if both spouses did not travel or if you were appointed as the child's guardians, you are required to re-adopt in order for your child to qualify for U.S. citizenship. If you adopted from a Hague Convention partner country, such as the People’s Republic of China, and you have a final order of adoption, there is no requirement for both parents to travel in order for your child to qualify for citizenship. Instead, you will automatically receive your child's Certificate of Citizenship thirty to forty-five days after you and your child enter the United States. However, if you adopted from a Hague Convention partner country where you received a guardianship decree, such as India, you are required to re-adopt in order for your child to become a U.S. citizen.

Whether it's required or not, it is still wise to re-adopt:

  1. To change the name of the child, you must re-adopt in your home state, and then re-apply to USCIS for a new Certificate of Citizenship.
  2. To request an amended date of birth: Sometimes, the adopted child seems older or younger than the original date of birth. If you obtain medical evidence of a different date of birth, it is possible to request an amended birth date during a re-adoption.
  3. To guarantee your child's right to inherit in every state: Not all states recognize the validity of foreign adoption decrees. If there were ever a question as to whether your child was eligible to receive an inheritance or other benefit, the re-adoption provides a domestic record of your child's legal status.
  4. To obtain school benefits: From a practical stand-point, many school systems require a domestic final order of adoption in order to qualify for benefits. We've even heard of colleges requiring a domestic final order prior to admittance.

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Birth Certificates

Virginia has a new law which allows some families to obtain a birth certificate without re-adoption. Not all families can use this procedure. Legal Fees are less than re-adoption. However, your foreign adoption will not be protected from challenges to validity. Contact us to see if this is an option for your family.

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How much does a Re-Adoption cost?

LawAdoption.comTypically, a re-adoption will cost around $1800 in Virginia. This amount includes attorney's fees, filing fees, birth certificate fees, and miscellaneous expenses. The agency will also charge a fee for the Investigative Report. If you need a corrected Certificate of Citizenship, you will also pay a filing fee to USCIS. If you re-adopt prior to your child's one-year anniversary date, the agency is required to conduct additional post-placement visits, which will increase the cost. Similarly, the cost will rise if you wait too long because the adoption agency may be required to make an additional home visit to update your information.

In other states, the amount will vary depending on the length of the process. Our law offices provide discounted attorney's fees if you are re-adopting more than one child in Virginia.

How long will a Re-Adoption take in Virginia?

Around four months from when the legal pleadings are filed.

What are the visit requirements?

Agency must visit 1 time in 6 months preceding filing the case with the court or right after we file.

When should we start the process?

Contact us to begin the process when you arrive home. We'll help you evaluate the appropriate time-frame depending on whether or not you are required to re-adopt. Of course, if you have questions before that, feel free to contact us.

Can you describe the process?

  1. Informational meeting with Adoption attorney.
  2. Client applies for ATIN or ITIN.
  3. Adoption attorney drafts legal pleadings and contacts your home study and post-placement agency.
  4. Adoption attorney files pleadings and required forms with Circuit Court. Judge enters Order of Reference directing agency to prepare Investigative Report within 60 days.
  5. Agency drafts Investigative Report and forwards to the Commisioner and the court.
  6. The adoption attorney prepares Final Order and new birth certificate request.
  7. One month later, you receive copies of your child's Final Order of Adoption.
  8. Birth Certificate arrives in 4 months.
  9. Client applies for social security number and new Certificate of Citizenship, if necessary.

Serving clients in Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Prince William County, Arlington County, Alexandria, Frederick County, Albermarle County, Culpeper County, Dinwiddie County, Pittsylvania County, Rockingham County, Shenandoah County, Spotsylvania County, Stafford County, Warren County, Westmoreland County, Virginia Beach and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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