Post-Adoption To Do List

First 6 weeks after arrival home: 

q       Obtain Health Insurance Coverage (most insurance companies require this to be completed within 30 days of the adoption date)

q       First visit to Pediatrician (within first two weeks)

o        Physical evaluation

o        Blood work (at least Hepatitis B, TB, and HIV)

o        Consider beginning immunizations

o        1st Test for Ova and Parasites 

q       File adoption paperwork away in a safe place.  You should do this as soon as you feel able so that the titles and meanings of various documents will still be fresh in your memory (receipts, documents in foreign language, etc.).

Within 4 months of arrival:

q       2nd test for Ova and Parasites (6-8 weeks after arrival) 

q       Receive your childís green card from INS.  Donít be alarmed if it never comes, but it probably will.  Keep in a safe place.   
(sample green card)

q       Obtain Proof of Citizenship
As of February 27, 2001, children adopted abroad automatically become American citizens the moment they arrive in America.  See the State Department Fact Sheet for more details.  On November 20, 2003 USCIS announced a program to streamline the process for child citizenship certificates.  Previous to this announcement, adoptive parents had to specifically apply for the certificate of citizenship.  For more information, see the USCIS CCA Update .

  • If your child enters the US on or after January 20, 2004 *and* your child enters on an IR-3 visa, your child will automatically  receive his/her Certificate of Citizenship by mail.
  • If your child entered the US prior to January 20, 2004, it is possible to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship from the USCIS.  To do so, you need to file an Application for Certificate of Citizenship in Behalf of an Adopted Child (form N-600).   The filing fee is $145.  Note: The new process for automatically issuing C of C's is still being refined.  For that reason if you have not yet applied for your child's certificate (and they entered the US after February 27, 2001) you may want to wait to see if your child will receive their certificate free of charge.
  • An easier way to prove citizenship is by applying for a Passport.  The fee for a child's passport is $40 (plus the cost of passport photos).  However, there are certain offices that will not accept a passport as proof of citizenship so a C of C is preferable.

q       Update your Will and/or Life Insurance Policies to include your child.

Within 6-12 months of arrival:

q       3rd test for Ova and Parasites (6-8 months after arrival home) 

q    Obtain your childís Social Security Card or Individual Tax Payer Identification Number (for tax purposes).  You must have proof of citizenship in order to get a citizen Social Security card rather than an alien card. In order to claim a deduction for your child on your taxes you need a social security number.  If you apply in person you will not have to turn over your original documents.  For more information and the necessary forms, see the Social Security Administration web page.

q      Complete the process to readopt your child (strongly recommended) or do a legal name change. 
In some states readoption is required to make your child's adoption final and legal.  (If only one parent of a married couple traveled a re-adoption is required)  Even in states where it is not required, re-adoption is a good idea because it gives your child an American birth certificate which simplifies many matters throughout their life.  For more information see www.readoptiononline.com and this article from Adoptive Families Magazine.

To find out what the general regulations are for readoption in your state, see this document from the NAIC (National Adoption Information Clearinghouse) website (in pdf format).

q       Send post-placement report to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  For more information about the post-placement report and where to send it, click here.

q      Participate in any Post-Placement evaluations required by your state of residence.  Consult your Social Worker about your stateís specific requirements.

 

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