Children who are adopted from another country by Georgia residents may or may not require further legal proceedings once they return to the United States.
If the adoptive parents did not obtain a full and final decree of adoption from the child’s country of origin, then the adoption must be filed and finalized in a Georgia court to legalize the parent/child relationship and secure the child’s citizenship and immigration status.
If the adoptive parents did obtain a full and final decree of adoption from the child’s country of origin, then domestication (formal legal recognition) of the foreign decree of adoption in a Georgia court is not mandatory but is often still desirable because it confers several benefits:
- allows adoptive parents to obtain an English language birth certificate, which is preferable to relying on foreign language birth certificates that require translation
- allows adoptive parents to obtain an English language court order of adoption, which is preferable to relying on foreign language court orders that require translation
- provides adoptive parents with the peace of mind and security of a Georgia court order recognizing the adoption
- allows an opportunity for ceremonial finalization in the child’s new home with family and friends.
Because foreign adoptions carry crucial implications regarding a child’s citizenship and immigration status, it is imperative to consult an experienced Georgia adoption attorney to ensure that the child’s rights are protected.