International Re-Adoption:


Mark Iverson has adopted a child internationally and offers a unique perspective to adoptive families in Washington and Idaho who are interested in international re-adoption.

What Is International Re-Adoption?

When a child is adopted from another country it is necessary to re-adopt the child under the laws of the state the adoptive couple resides in order to obtain a US birth certificate.

Foreign Adoption

Most families that adopt a child internationally do so through an agency.  The child is adopted in the foreign country.  Upon return to the US, the child is re-adopted under the laws of the state of the adoptive couple.  Both Washington and Idaho recognize foreign adoption decrees and have a process for allowing the adoptive couple to re-adopt under state law.

Foreign Guardianship

In some countries the parental rights are terminated but the child is placed with the adopting family under a guardianship.  The court in Washington and Idaho will recognize the termination orders of the foreign country and allow the adopting family to adopt.

International Agency Adoption

There are a number of different agencies throughout the United States which place babies and older children from foreign countries with couples in the United States. Each agency has its own requirements. For instance, many require that the adoptive couple be under the age of 40. For particular requirements, contact the agency directly.

The prospective adoptive couple must meet with a caseworker associated with a Hague Adoption Convention accredited child placement agency and have a pre-placement report (home study) performed. The couple must provide social history, medical history, financial status and other information. Once the adoptive couple is approved, the agency matches a child with the prospective adoptive couple.

International Private Adoption

It is also possible to adopt a child from a foreign country privately. A pre-placement report is still required and must be obtained from a caseworker who is associated with a Hague Adoption Convention approved child placement agency licensed in the United States.

Immigration Issues

An adoption does not address the immigration issues for a particular child.  It is sometimes necessary to work separately with an immigration attorney.

Hague Adoption Convention

The Hague Adoption Convention is an international agreement to establish safeguards to assure that inter country adoptions take place in the best interests of the child.  The United States joined the Hague Adoption Convention in April 2008.

It is important to determine whether a child is from a country that has adopted the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention.  It may be necessary, for instance, to take additional steps and receive the permission of the Hague Adoption Convention country before a child can be adopted in the United States.

Even if the child is not born in a Hague Adoption Convention country, it is necessary to receive a home study from a Hague accredited child placing agency licensed to practice in the state of the adoptive parents.

Free Consultation

If you would like more information on an international adoption and would like to speak with an attorney about the legal process for adopting a child born in a foreign country, please contact us.

FAQs International Re-Adoption

What Is The Benefit Of Re-Adopting a Child?

A re-adoption is necessary to obtain a US birth certificate.

What Is The Legal Process To Re-Adopt A Child?

The Court in Washington and Idaho recognizes the foreign country’s legal process.  A copy of the adoption or guardianship documents from the foreign country is filed and adoption paperwork is prepared and presented at a Court hearing.  If the foreign country grants the adopting family guardianship rather than adoption, it will be necessary to adopt the child rather than re-adopt.

Can We Change The Child’s Name At The Time Of The Re-Adoption?

Yes.  A new birth certificate is issued reflecting the child’s new name.

Can The Age Of The Child Be Changed?

Yes.  The child’s age can be changed in a re-adoption.  In situations where it becomes clear that the age of the child born in a foreign country in inaccurate, it is possible to change the age of the child in a decree of re-adoption.  A dentist can determine a child’s age by examining the child’s teeth; a medical provider can also determine a child’s age by reviewing a bone scan.  If the dentist or medical provider makes such a determination, the matter is presented to court and the child’s age is changed in the decree.

Free Consultation

Mark R. Iverson is available to answer any questions during a free consultation. Contact us at 509-462-3678 or 800-338-8273 or via email at