What documents need to be provided for an international adoption?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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The rules and requirements for international adoptions vary, but in all cases, you will be asked for a certain amount of official paperwork to prove various things before the adoption can go forward legally. While you should consult with a lawyer and/or adoption agency for the specifics, in the majority of international adoptions you should expect to be asked to provide types of documentation listed in the next section.

Required Documentation for an International Adoption

 Required documents normally include:

  1. Birth certificates of the adoptive parent(s) and/or a marriage certificate if they are a married couple.
  2. Health certificates of the parent(s) from recent examinations, covering all general diseases and conditions, proving they are free from certain conditions such as HIV or Hepatitis-B.
  3. Recent photographs of the adoptive parent(s) and/or other children in the family.
  4. Any health reports related to the couple’s ability to have biological children, or lack thereof (this will not preclude adoption, and is required only to help provide information on the possible future conditions of the family, i.e. if they plan to have children in the future, etc.).
  5. Financial statements including information on property owned, living status (rental, home ownership, etc.), assets, bank statements.
  6. Recommendation letters from various officials and personal acquaintances prepared to speak on the adoptive family’s behalf.
  7. Documentation proving employment and income of the family member(s).
  8. Any written statements from other family members, i.e. biological children of legal age, expressing their views and consents to the adoption.
  9. Any paperwork on children adopted earlier.
  10. Possible paperwork from other family members willing to take responsibility for the children (for example, godparents) should something happen to the adoptive parents. This is particularly required in cases where the adoptive parents are of advanced age.

Getting Help

If you are involved in an international adoption and you wish to make sure the process goes smoothly you will need to hire a lawyer for help. An attorney can help make sure that your rights and the rights of your adopted child are given the full protection under the law. 

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