Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - Alaska

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Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Alaska Stat. §§ 25.23.080; 25.23.180; Court Rules, Adoption Rule 14

A petition for adoption shall be signed and verified by the petitioner, filed with the clerk of the court, and state the following information:

  • The date and place of birth of the person to be adopted, if known
  • The name to be used for the person to be adopted
  • The date of placement of the minor and the name of the person placing the minor
  • The full name, age, place, and duration of residence of the petitioner
  • The marital status of the petitioner, including the date and place of marriage, if married
  • A statement that the petitioner has facilities and resources suitable to provide for the nurture and care of the minor to be adopted and that it is the desire of the petitioner to establish the relationship of parent and child with the person to be adopted
  • A description and estimate of value of any property of the person to be adopted
  • The name of any person whose consent to the adoption is required, but who has not consented, and facts or circumstances that excuse the lack of the consent normally required to the adoption

For an adoption proceeding under this chapter, a decree issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in this or another State terminating all rights of a parent with reference to a child or the relationship of parent and child dispenses with the required consent by that parent to an adoption of that child and notice of a proceeding to that parent, unless otherwise required by this section.

In court rules: At the conclusion of the adoption hearing, the court shall enter findings of fact concerning the following:

  • Whether the required consents were filed or excused
  • Whether a report of petitioner's expenditures was required and, if so, whether the report was accepted by the court
  • Whether all appropriate notices were timely given
  • If the adoption was of a minor, whether the required residence of the minor with petitioner exists
  • Whether a home study was required and, if so, whether the home study was accepted by the court
  • Whether the adoption is in the best interests of the minor
  • Whether visitation rights are being allowed under § 25.23.130(c)

The court's findings also must include a description and an estimate of value of any property of the person to be adopted.

Required Evidence/Documentation

Citation: Alaska Stat. §§ 25.23.080; 25.23.175; 25.23.185; 18.50.510(a)

A certified copy of the birth certificate or verification of the birth record of the person to be adopted, if available; the information specified in § 25.23.185(a), if available; and the required consents, relinquishments, and termination orders shall be filed with the clerk.

In the case of the adoption of a person born outside of the United States, if requested by the adoptive parents, the court shall make findings, based on evidence from the petitioner and other reliable State or Federal sources, on the date and place of birth and parentage of the adopted person. The findings shall be certified by the court and included with the report of adoption filed with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics under § 18.50.210.

At the time a petition for adoption is filed with the court, the agency or individual placing the person for adoption or the petitioner shall file with the court, for release to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics, the following information:

  • The address of each parent named on the original birth certificate
  • The background information required under § 18.50.510(a)

At the request of an adoptive parent or of an adopted person age 18 or older, the State registrar shall release the following information regarding a birth parent named on the original birth certificate of the adopted person, if the information is available from the registrar's adoption records:

  • The age of the birth parent on the day the adopted person was born
  • The heritage of the birth parent, including national origin, ethnic background, and Tribal membership
  • The medical history of the birth parent and of blood relatives of the birth parent
  • The number of years of school completed by the birth parent by the day the adopted person was born
  • A physical description of the birth parent on the day the adopted person was born, including height; weight; and color of hair, eyes, and skin
  • The existence of other children of the birth parent
  • Whether the birth parent was alive at the time of adoption
  • The religion of the birth parent
  • Other information provided by the birth parent for disclosure to the child, which may include such items as photographs, letters, and a statement explaining the reasons for the adoption

Background Studies

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.100

An investigation shall be made by the Department of Health and Social Services or any other qualified agency or person designated by the court to inquire into the conditions and antecedents of a minor sought to be adopted and of the petitioner for the purpose of ascertaining whether the adoptive home is a suitable home for the minor and whether the proposed adoption is in the best interests of the minor.

A written report of the investigation shall be filed with the court by the investigator before the petition is heard, as long as the report is filed within 30 days of the designation by the court of the department, agency, or person to make the investigation. The report of the investigation shall contain an evaluation of the placement with a recommendation as to the granting of the petition for adoption and any other information the court requires regarding the petitioner or the minor.

Placement Supervision and Reporting

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.110

A final decree of adoption may not be issued until the minor to be adopted, other than a stepchild of the petitioner, has lived in the adoptive home and the department or any other qualified agency or person designated by the court has had an opportunity to observe or investigate the adoptive home.

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.130

A final decree of adoption, whether issued by a court of this State or of any other State, has the following effect as to matters within the jurisdiction or before a court of this State:

  • To relieve the natural parents of the adopted person of all parental rights and responsibilities and to terminate all legal relationships between the adopted person and the natural parents and other relatives of the adopted person, so that the adopted person thereafter is a stranger to the former relatives for all purposes including inheritance, unless the decree of adoption specifically provides for continuation of inheritance rights
  • To create the relationship of parent and child between petitioner and the adopted person, as if the adopted person were a legitimate blood descendant of the petitioner, for all purposes including inheritance

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Alaska Stat. §§ 25.23.170; 18.50.210; 18.50.211

Within 30 days after an adoption decree becomes final, the clerk of the court shall, if requested by the adoptive parents, prepare an application for a birth certificate in the name of the adopted person. Upon issuing a decree terminating parental rights, the court may order the preparation of an application for a birth certificate in the name of the child without reference to the parent whose parental rights have been terminated. The clerk of the court shall forward the application to either of the following:

  • For a person born in the United States, to the appropriate vital statistics office of the place, if known, where the adopted person was born and a copy of the decree to the department for statistical purposes
  • For a person born outside the United States, to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics

For each adoption decreed by a court in the State, the court shall require the preparation of a report of adoption on a form prescribed and furnished by the Bureau of Vital Statistics. The report must include the facts necessary to locate and identify the original certificate of birth, if any, of the person adopted. If the person being adopted was born outside the United States, the report must provide findings, if requested by the adoptive parents, or other information necessary to establish a certificate of birth. The report must identify the order of adoption and be certified by the court or the clerk.

The petitioner or the attorney for the petitioner shall furnish with the petition for adoption information in the possession of the petitioner necessary to prepare the adoption report. The social welfare agency or other person concerned shall supply the court with additional information necessary to complete the report if the information is in the possession of the agency or the person. The furnishing of the information is a prerequisite to the issuance of a final decree in the matter.

Upon request by the adopted person or the adopted person's adoptive parent or guardian, the State registrar shall issue a certificate of birth for a person born outside the United States whose adoptive parents are residents of the State at the time of the adoption. The request must be accompanied by the adoption report prepared under § 18.50.210, together with information necessary to identify the original certificate of birth. If there is no original certificate of birth, the findings of the court under § 25.23.175 must be submitted, unless the adoption proceeding is commenced before August 31, 1982, in which case an affidavit of an adoptive parent setting out the true or probable date and place of birth and parentage of the adopted person must accompany the adoption report.

A certificate of birth issued under this section shall be in a form prescribed by the State registrar and shall state that it is not evidence of U.S. citizenship. Upon proof of naturalization, an amended certificate of birth shall be issued under this section that deletes the statement that the certificate is not evidence of U.S. citizenship.