In most cases, adoption in Florida is a two-step process: first, termination of the parental rights of the birth parents and, second the adoption of the child by the adoptive parents. An adoption takes away the legal relationship between the child and the birth parents and creates a legal relationship between the child and the adoptive parents. The child is then treated by law as if he or she had been born to the adoptive parents. The rights and obligations of the birth parents cease except when the adoptive parent is married to one of the birth parents. The adoptive parents will assume all financial and emotional support of this child for the rest of the child's life. For more information on Adoption click here.
International Adoption is just one of many ways in which parents can adopt a child. Children from all over the globe are waiting for their forever families. Unlike the United States, many countries don't have a domestic social system which allows children without a family to live in a home environment. Children in these countries are often placed in group homes or orphanages where they stay until their family finds them or until they've become old enough to live and support themselves on their own.
In most cases, international adoptions are finalized in the country of origin, so once you come home with your child, he or she is already legally yours. There are a number of countries that work with U.S. couples hoping to adopt, so identifying which country works best for your family is usually the first step you would take when moving forward.
Re-adoption in a U.S. Federal court is not required for children who entered the country with an IR-3 visa (those whose adoptions were completed overseas). International adoptions finalized abroad, in most situations, are legally binding in the United States. However, some U.S. State courts do not automatically recognize a foreign adoption decree. If your child was issued an IR-3 immigrant visa, you are not required under Federal law to readopt the child, although your State adoption law may require you to do so. Florida recognizes foreign adoptions. Re-adoption or adoption (in the case of a child in a guardianship or where both parents have not met the child) is a requirement for all children entering America with an IR-4 visa - where the adoption was not completed overseas.
The Law Office of Marie F. Benjamin Firm can assist you with re-adoption once you have returned to the United States with your child. Most families choose to re-adopt their child to obtain a Florida birth certificate and name change. After 90 days of having your new addition to your family in your home, our law firm can began the legal process of re-adopting your child. Upon completion of the re-adoption in your local court, you will have a U.S. Judgment Order for Adoption and will no longer have to produce the foreign Judgment and translation. You will also receive a birth certificate (or Record of Foreign Birth) from your state that lists you as the birth parent of your child and lists the name you have chosen for your child.
In many instances, the re-adoption itself is a festive event. Judges often conduct the re-adoption in their chambers, with the whole family invited to participate (even siblings of your new child) and take photos. Re-adoption day is yet another reason to celebrate on your international adoption journey.
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