Readoption of an Internationally-Born Child
We have adopted our daughter about 9 years ago from China (she is now 10). We have heard that to protect her rights (social security benefits from parents, sure recognition of her adoptive status by all US states and other rights) it would be best to readopt her here in the US. We are now based in SF but used to live in NYC when we went to China to receive her. Our daughter has since become a US citizen and has a US certificate of citizenship and a US passport. At this point we really would like to proceed with the US re-adoption. Has anyone out there done this? If so, how did it work out? We think we need a lawyer and would like to be referred to a competent and reputable immigration lawyer in San Francisco or in the Bay Area. Basically, if anybody out there who has already done this in the recent years could give us some advice and referrals, we would immensely appreciate it. concerned adoptive mom
Hi - I am an adoptive mom of two kids, one from another country. We re-adopted my daughter in the U.S. for similar reasons. I would recommend contacting the director of Across the World Adoptions 925-356-6260. They are in Pleasant Hill. I believe her name is Leslie Siegel, although it's been a few years and I may have the name off a little. She is an attorney who specializes in adoptions, particularly international adopts and runs this small agency. She also has a private practice in adoption law. You will need a social work report supporting your re-adoption in U.S. courts,and she should be able to help you with this as well. We did all the paperwork ourselves, with guidance from the agency. The forms in California are very straightforward, fill-in-the-blank, so that families can do this themselves. We did have questions, and it was good to have someone to go over things with. Good luck. deb
We will be going thru the same readoption journey with our two girls, also from China. I started trying to understand all of it since 2005 but put off going thru it b/c it's so complicated. BUT, thank goodness there's someone like Carol (in Berkeley). She started this yahoo group in an effort to streamline the process: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CA-Re-Adopt/ good luck! Linda
Hello, We need to readopt our son who was adopted internationally, so that we can get him a California Birth Certificate. (He is already a US Citizen and he has a US passport.) How is this done? Any advice on this? Do we need to hire a lawyer? Thanks anon
Hi, As far as I know, you do not need to hire a lawyer to do a readoption in California. I did one in Alameda County simply by filling out some forms (available on the County Court's website - http://www.alameda.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp/Adoptions/hearings.html ) and filing them, along with the original homestudy, for $26! Then I had to call back a week later or so and get a court date for a hearing. In Alameda, Judge Horner does all of these hearings on Friday mornings, usually in his chambers. It's a nice, validating experience, and very simple.
The only tiny wrinkle was that there was another form - like VS- 44 or something, but don't quote me! - that I needed to fill out but that is not online. It was simple enough to fill out while I was on the line to file.
Some agencies are telling people that they *must* pay the agency a huge fee to readopt, or provide post-placement reports, or the like. In Alameda County, anyway, that is absolutely not true. All you're doing is registering your foreign adoption, which is already a legal adoption. You don't need more paperwork from the agency.
Other counties may have other processes. But I'm not convinced you have to file in your home county, so that's worth some thought if you get stuck somehow with another county's process. Actually, you don't even need to readopt to get the birth certificate. If you run into some snag with your agency providing a copy of the homestudy or something, another option is to simply file for a delayed registration of birth. I did this the first time 'round due to misinformation from my agency. The steps are the same as for the readoption, but instead of getting the adoption registered PLUS the new birth certificate, all you get is the birth certificate. But it's an option if you are stuck otherwise.
Good luck, and enjoy your hearing with the lovely Judge Horner! Nancy
Your social worker who did your home study (or the home study agency itself) should be able to assist you with this. We are currently doing a readoption and our social worker has been very helpful in getting us everything that we needed. Adopted our son from Kazakhstan
In response to the parents who asked about readoption -- you can find info at: www.courtinfo.ca.gov.
I just finished the process of readopting my internationally adopted daughter. I also wanted the CA birth certificate. You do not need a lawyer! You can do it all yourself. Some adoption agencies will tell you that you need another social worker visit and write-up, but I know of several families who used their initial homestudy report for the process.
You can also call 272-3814 which is the number for the clerk who handles readoptions in Alameda Co. All of this info assumes you live in Alameda Co (which you may not). You might also want to check with your adoption agency. Congratulations and good luck! anon
Having done two readoptions in Alameda County without a lawyer, I can report that the hardest part was figuring out what forms to file, and who to contact. Now the state has put together a 2- page booklet summarizing the steps: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/documents/adopt050.pdf
Google the form name (i.e. adopt-200) to download the forms referred to in the booklet. This should get you started. We live in Berkeley and filed at the Superior Court on Fallon St. in Oakland. Feel free to email me if you have questions. lisa