Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - Virgin Islands

Date: May 2019

Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 16, §§ 141; 142; 145

Any inhabitant of the Virgin Islands may petition the proper court to adopt a child who is not his or her own and who is in the Virgin Islands. If desired, the petition also may ask for a change of the child's name.

The parents of the child, or the survivor of them, shall consent in writing to the adoption. If neither parent is living, the guardian of the child or, if there is no guardian, the next of kin in the Virgin Islands may give consent. If there is no next of kin, the judge of the court may appoint a suitable person to act in the proceedings as guardian ad litem of the child and to give or withhold consent.

The court may grant the petition for adoption upon finding the following:

  • It appears that the child has resided with the petitioner for a length of time sufficient to indicate that the proposed adoption is in the best interests of the child.
  • The Commissioner of Public Welfare has submitted his or her report and recommendation with respect to the proposed adoption.
  • The court is satisfied of the identity and relations of the persons.
  • The petitioner is of sufficient ability and in all respects a proper person to bring up the child and furnish suitable nurture and education, having reference to the degree and condition of the parents.
  • It is fit and proper that the adoption should take effect.

The decree shall set forth the facts and order that from the date of the decree the child shall, to all legal intents and purposes, be the child of the petitioner.

If a change of the child's name is requested in the petition for adoption, the court, upon adjudging the adoption, may also adjudge such change of name and grant a certificate thereof without further notice, and a copy thereof shall be furnished by the clerk of the court to the proper local Registrar of Vital Statistics.

Required Evidence/Documentation


This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Background Studies


This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Placement Supervision and Reporting


This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 16, § 146

A child adopted under the provisions of this chapter is deemed, for the purpose of inheritance and all other legal consequences and incidents of the natural relation of parents and children, the child of the parents by adoption, the same as if he or she had been born to them in lawful wedlock.

The natural parents of the child are deprived by an adoption decree of all legal rights with respect to the child, and the child is freed from all obligations of maintenance and obedience as respects his or her natural parents.

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate


There is no provision in statute for issuing a Virgin Islands certificate of birth for any child not born in the Virgin Islands.