Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - Northern Mariana Islands

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Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Commonwealth Code Tit. 8, §§ 1415, 1408, 1411

A decree of court terminating the relationship of parent and child or establishing the relationship by adoption pursuant to due process of law by a court of any other jurisdiction within or without the United States shall be recognized in the Commonwealth, and the rights and obligations of the parties as to matters within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth shall be determined as though the decree were issued by a court of the Commonwealth.

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

  • The date and place of birth, if known, and the period of residency in the Commonwealth, of the individual to be adopted
  • The name to be used for the individual to be adopted
  • The date the petitioner acquired custody and placement of the minor and the name of the person placing the minor
  • The full name; age; place; duration of residence; and, in the case of an alien, immigration status of the petitioner
  • The marital status of the petitioner, including the date and place of marriage, if married
  • Facts showing 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 individual to be adopted
  • A description and estimate of value of any property of the individual 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 his or her consent normally required to the adoption

The petitioner and the individual to be adopted shall appear at the hearing on the petition, unless the presence of either is excused by the court for good cause shown. If, at the conclusion of the hearing, the court determines that the required consents have been obtained or excused and that the adoption is in the best interests of the individual to be adopted, it may do either of the following:

  • Issue a final decree of adoption
  • Issue an interlocutory decree of adoption that, by its own terms, may become a final decree of adoption on a day therein specified, which day shall not be less than 6 months nor more than 1 year from the date of issuance of the decree, unless sooner vacated by the court for good cause shown

Required Evidence/Documentation

Citation: Commonwealth Code Tit. 8, § 1408

A certified copy of the birth certificate or verification of birth record of the individual to be adopted, if available, and the required consents and relinquishments shall be filed with the clerk of the court. All foreign documents shall be authenticated according to procedure set forth by the orders or rules of the superior court.

Background Studies

Citation: Commonwealth Code Tit. 8, § 1410

If the court so orders, an investigation ('home study') shall be made by the Division of Youth Services or its designee or any other qualified person or agency designated by the court to inquire into the conditions and the antecedents of a minor sought to be adopted and of the petitioner to determine 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. The report 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: Commonwealth Code Tit. 8, § 1411

In an interlocutory decree of adoption, the court may provide for observation, investigation, and further report on the adoptive home during the interlocutory period.

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Commonwealth Code Tit. 8, § 1412

A final decree of adoption and an interlocutory decree of adoption that has become final, whether issued by a court of the Commonwealth or of any other place, have the following effect as to matters within the jurisdiction or before a court of the Commonwealth:

  • Except with respect to a spouse of the petitioner and relatives of the spouse in the case of a stepparent adoption, to relieve the natural parents of the adopted individual of all parental rights and responsibilities and to terminate all legal relationships between the adopted individual and his or her relatives, including his or her natural parents, so that the adopted individual thereafter is a stranger to his or her former relatives for all purposes, including inheritance
  • To create the relationship of parent and child between the petitioner and the adopted individual, as if the adopted individual were a legitimate blood descendant of the petitioner, for all purposes including inheritance

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Commonwealth Code Tit. 8, § 1417

After the decree has become effective, a certified copy of the decree of adoption shall be sent to the Commonwealth Recorder's office. The Commonwealth Recorder's office shall cause to be made a new record of the birth in the name of the individual, as fixed or changed by the decree, with the names of the adoptive parents.

If the birth of the individual occurred outside the Commonwealth and a record of birth exists, the certified copy of the decree or the abstract thereof shall be transmitted by the clerk of the superior court to the birth registration authorities of the place of the individual's birth with a request that those authorities take appropriate action with respect to the record of the individual's birth.