Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | April 4, 2013

What Is Readoption?

When a family begins the adoption process, many times they must learn a whole new language. Dossier, profile, USCIS, NBC, I-600a, etc. There are many different terms and jargon involved in the adoption process. One such term is “readoption.” What is readoption? It is the process of documenting and legalizing the parent-child relationship in an adoption situation in U.S. courts. Many times it is used to obtain a U.S. birth certificate and legally change the child’s name. There are many benefits to readopting your child in U.S. courts.

If your child comes home on an IR-4 (non-Hague) or IH-4 (Hague) Visa, this means that the adoption was not finalized in the child’s country of origin. In these cases, readoption is mandatory. If your child comes home on an IR-3 or IH-3 Visa, then your adoption was finalized in the child’s country of origin, and your child became a U.S. citizen when they came onto U.S. soil. In these cases, readoption is not mandatory, but is encouraged.

One of the reasons that readoption is encouraged for IR-3 or IH-3 Visas is because readopting your child enables you to request a U.S. birth certificate for your child. Whenever your child registers for school, applies to colleges, or even marries, they will need to show a birth certificate, and having a U.S. birth certificate will make these processes easier on you and your child.

The process for readopting your child depends on the state you live in. Readoption laws are governed by the state, not by federal laws. Your first step in readopting is to hire an attorney to do so. We always encourage families to hire an attorney that is familiar with adoption law. In order to find an adoption attorney, you can visit the following website, which is the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys:

Be sure that you have your foreign adoption decree because the court will always request a copy of that when processing your readoption. The additional paperwork needed will depend on the court and the judge. We also encourage families to complete their readoption during their post placement phase of the process. Many times the judge requests reports from our agency, and if we have not recently visited with your family for a post placement visit, we may have to make an additional trip to your home and it may be an additional and unnecessary cost to your family.

If you have any questions at all, about the readoption process, please feel free to contact the ICM offices at any time and we would be more than happy to answer your questions!



  1. If you are adopting domestically, your readoption would be considered your finalization.

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