Because I need to put my advocacy hat on.
For me, it’s all about the child. I feel obligated to address one of the hoops adoptive parents must or are compelled to jump through after welcoming their child into their family. I use the idiom jumping through hoops metaphorically, to represent additional processes—in this case, readoption—and their associated costs, which adoptive parents and families are faced with.
Adoptive parents are encouraged to readopt their child, whether or not the State they legally reside in requires it. Like many of you, my kids’ adoptions were finalized before returning to the States. Our State did not require readoptions. However, my husband and I decided to go ahead with them. The majority of parents do.
Why readoption, even if not required?
- To obtain a U.S. issued birth certificate (delayed birth certificate) for their child. School, organizations, and bureaucrats may refuse to accept a foreign birth certificate. *For children who are not born in the U.S., birth certificates issued after the process of readoption indicate the child’s birth country. The birth certificate is proof of citizenship only for children born in the U.S.
- Family security. Although rare, legal changes can occur in the child’s country or origin, retroactively nullifying completed adoptions. The child’s country of origin cannot challenge the validity of his adoption.
- Assurance that adopted children will be afforded all of the same rights under their State and U.S. laws as birthed children (notice the marginalization). Re-adoption helps adopted people provide proof they have that entitlement if challenged.
- Making sure adopted children satisfy the ambiguous readoption requirements of the U.S. Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Readoption is not necessary for IR-2 and IR-3 visas, but it is required for IR-4 visas. Some states may require readoption regardless of the type of visa.
For discussion: Have you readopted your child? What was your experience with the process?
~ Photo by Kristen McQuillin