AAC offers bi-monthly meetings to encourage adoptive families to stay connected. Please see our calendar of events for upcoming gatherings, or contact our office for information!
Big Kids Only is a group organized by Lisa Blank that plans events geared to interest adoptees ages 10 and older. If you are interested in finding out more, you can contact Lisa at 970-217-7126.
What To Do When You Get Home*Information adapted from "Post-Adoption Paperwork" from Adoptive Families. For specific information on your adoption, please contact AAC directly.Once you've brought your child home, there are a few more documents to complete to verify the final adoption and to ensure your child is a legal U.S. citizen. It is a good idea to start your post-adoption paperwork sooner rather than later since you'll have most of what you'll need close at hand. When filling out most of these forms, you must furnish the same type of documents you gathered for your dossier.
Readoption is the means of documenting the parent-child relationship in the U.S. In many states, it is the first step in obtaining a birth certificate and a legal name change. If your child entered the U.S. on an IR-3 or IH-3 visa, readoption may be optional. If you child entered the U.S. on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa, readoption is mandatory.
Readoption is based on state, not federal law, so the process can vary widely. AAC will assist all Colorado adoptions with the readoption process. If you live out of state, your home study agency can also assist you with the process in your state. Look up your state's laws at the Child Welfare Information Gateway. You can find an adoption attorney through the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.
Certificate of Citizenship
A Certificate of Citizenship may be required to apply for scholarships, government or overseas work, or to obtain a passport. Every child born outside the U.S. should have a C.O.C.
Children with IR-3 or IH-3 visas legally become U.S. citizens upon entering the country. You should automatically receive the COC in the mail within 45 days. (If you don't, contact USCIS at 800-375-5283). If your child entered the U.S. with an IR-4 or IH-4, you must file for the COC after you readopt. Legal-eaze.com offers clear (and free) instructions on this process. If you have readopted, you must submit proof of the readoption. In addition to the standard documents listed on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services form N-600.
Copies of birth certificates are often requested when filling out school forms, so you'll want a copy in English listing you (and your spouse) as your child parent(s), along with the correct spelling of your child's name. A U.S. birth certificate is easier to replace than one issued by a foreign country.
If readoption is mandatory for you, you must complete the readoption process before you can request a birth certificate. Most states require a copy of your child's original birth certificate from his or her country of origin.
Look up your state's requirements at childwelfare.gov.
Enrolling your child in your health-insurance plan should be as simple as making a phone call to your provider and sending them a copy of the adoption decree. Federal law prohibits carriers from restricting coverage of adopted children on the basis of pre-existing conditions. Individual health plans-those not sponsored by an employer- aren't subject to these rules, though many states require the same coverage for adopted children. Consult an attorney if you encounter problems.
A passport permits your child to travel outside the country and serves as additional documentation of your child's legal status. Complete Form DS-11. Apply for a passport after you receive your child's COC. The wait is generally three weeks, though times vary. Submit the application after you've finalized the rest of your post-adoption paperwork.
Most international adoption proceedings allow you to change your child's name on the adoption decree. If, however, the adoption decree is incorrect, you should request a name change when you readopt. If you don't readopt, visit namechangelaw.com to learn about your state's procedures.
Social Security Number
You'll need your child's SSN to apply for the Adoption Tax Credit on your tax return. Most school and medical forms will require this information as well. Complete the Social Security card application. You child will be assigned an SSN in 2-14 weeks.
Your child is entitled to original documents concerning his or her immigration and adoption process. Complete the G-884 form and submit to USCIS. Be specific about what you are asking for. If your child entered the U.S. with an IR-3 or an IR-4 visa, contact the USCIS office. There may be some paperwork (such as a birth mother's birth certificate) that can't be sent from the G-884. Request by filing a G-639 form.