Summaries of Laws Regarding Adoptions Finalized Abroad

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Summaries of Laws Regarding Adoptions Finalized Abroad

Twenty-five states and one territory (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) grant the same recognition and effect to final decrees of adoption when issued pursuant to due process in a foreign country as to decrees of adoption issued in that state or territory.

States Granting Full Effect and Recognition to Foreign Adoption Decrees

Alaska
Arkansas
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana
New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Vermont
Wisconsin

One state (Iowa) currently requires that all foreign adoptions be re-finalized by Iowa residents and does not accord legal recognition to adoptions finalized abroad.

States Allowing Re-Adoption

Re-adoption is allowed by statute in eighteen states upon submission of a petition accompanied by proof of adoption in a foreign court; three states (California, Connecticut and Tennessee) specify in their code that re-adoption is allowed if required by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service. Further, Commonwealth of Virginia allows re-adoption after a child has resided with the petitioners for a period of time.

States Allowing Re-Adoption

California
Colorado
Connecticut
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Kansas
Maine
Maryland
Minnesota
New Hampshire
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Tennessee
Virginia
Wisconsin

No Statutory Provisions

Seventeen states and five of the six US Territories have no statutory provisions regarding international adoptions although two jurisdictions (Michigan and the District of Columbia) which have no provisions regarding international adoptions, do provide in their judicial rules procedural guidelines for the acceptance of foreign adoption decrees.

District of Columbia
A foreign official record of an adoption is admissible evidence of an adoption in the DC courts. District Of Columbia Court Rules Annotated , Rules Governing Adoption Proceedings, D.C. SCR-Adoption Rule 44 (1998)

Michigan
Judicial procedures for recognition accorded to court order or decree issued in another country. Michigan Statutes Annotated, Title 27, Part 1, Chapter 266, Chapter X, Section 27.3178 (1998)

States with No Statutory Provisions

Alabama
Arizona
Kentucky
Louisiana
Michigan
Mississippi
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Texas
Utah
Washington
West Virginia
Wyoming

Territories with No Statutory Provisions

American SamoaDistrict of ColumbiaGuamPuerto RicoU.S. Virgin Islands

This material may be reproduced and distributed without permission; however, appropriate citation must be given to the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse.

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