Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - Wyoming

Date:

Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 1-22-104; 1-22-106; 1-22-107; 1-22-109; 1-22-111; 1-22-112

Effective July 1, 2019: Adoption proceedings shall be commenced by a petition filed in district court. A petition may be filed by any single adult or jointly by a husband and wife who maintain their home together or by either the husband or wife, if the other spouse is a parent of the child.

A petition to adopt a child shall be filed upon the entry of the child in the adoptive home or as soon thereafter as is reasonably convenient. When a petition is filed and presented to the judge, he or she shall set the petition for hearing. Any person whose consent to adoption is required by § 1-22-109 and whose consent has not been filed shall be ordered to appear on the day set and show cause why the petition to adopt should not be granted and a decree of adoption entered.

Prior to the hearing a copy of the petition to adopt a child and all orders to show cause shall be served on any persons whose consent to adoption is required and whose consent has not been filed with the petition to adopt.

A written relinquishment of custody of the child to be adopted and written consent to adoption shall be filed with the petition to adopt and shall be signed by the following:

  • Both parents, if living, or the surviving parent
  • The mother and putative father of the child if the name of the putative father is known
  • The mother alone if she does not know the name of the putative father, in which case she shall sign and file an affidavit so stating
  • The legal guardian of the person of the child if neither parent is living or if parental rights have been judicially terminated
  • The executive head of the agency to whom the child has been relinquished for adoption
  • The person having exclusive legal custody of the child by court order

After the petition to adopt has been filed and a hearing held, the court acting in the best interests and welfare of the child, may make any of the following orders:

  • Enter an interlocutory decree of adoption, giving the care and custody of the child to the petitioners pending further order of the court
  • Defer entry of an interlocutory decree of adoption and order a social study of the adopting family
  • Enter a final decree of adoption if the child has resided in the home of the petitioner for 6 months
  • Deny the adoption if the court finds that the best interests and welfare of the child will be served by such denial

After a written report of the investigation is filed, the court shall determine if the adoption by petitioners is in the best interests and welfare of the child and thereupon enter the appropriate order or decree.

If an interlocutory decree has been entered, the petitioners may apply for a final decree of adoption after the child has resided in the home of the petitioners for 6 months. A hearing on the petition may be required.

If an interlocutory decree has not been entered, a hearing on the petition for a final decree of adoption shall be set, notice thereof shall be given, and a final hearing shall be held on the petition.

Required Evidence/Documentation

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-104

Effective July 1, 2019: The following documents shall be filed with every petition to adopt a child:

  • The appropriate consent to adoption pursuant to § 1-22-109
  • Any relinquishments necessary to show the court that the person or agency legally authorized to have custody and control of the child prior to the adoption has duly relinquished the child to the petitioners for adoption
  • A report of the medical examination of the child made by a licensed Wyoming physician within 30 days immediately preceding the filing of the petition to adopt
  • An affidavit from each petitioner setting forth the following:
    • Any previous or current diagnosed psychiatric disorders of the petitioner
    • All felony convictions of the petitioner within the preceding 10 years
    • All misdemeanor convictions of the petitioner within the preceding 5 years
    • The current parole or probation status of the petitioner, if any
  • An affidavit stating the name or names of persons awarded visitation rights to the child under § 20-7-101 or 20-7-102 or an affidavit stating that no visitation rights with the child have been awarded
  • A form prescribed and furnished by the State Registrar of Vital Records to provide, to the extent possible, the following information:
    • The name of the child prior to adoption
    • The child's sex
    • The child's date of birth and place of birth
    • The child's birth certificate number
    • The birth mother's full maiden name
    • The birth father's full name

Background Studies

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-116; Code of Rules 049-0001-1, § 4

To the extent available, the medical history of a child subject to adoption and his or her birth parents, with information identifying the birth parents eliminated, shall be provided by an authorized agency or may be provided by order of a court to the child's adoptive parent any time after the adoption decree or to the child after he or she reaches the age of majority. The history shall include, but not be limited to, all available information regarding conditions or diseases believed to be hereditary, any drugs or medication taken during pregnancy by the child's birth mother, and any other information that may be a factor influencing the child's present or future health.

In regulation: If the department is conducting an adoptive home study, the applicant shall provide the following:

  • The names; addresses; ages; sex; race and nationality; education; work and employment record; physical description; verification of marriage(s) and divorce(s); financial statement of assets, liabilities, and income; family members and others living within the home
  • The names and addresses of five references who have known the applicant for a minimum of 2 years
  • A general physical examination, completed within the year
  • Autobiographies of each applicant
  • A statement as to the motivation to apply for adoption and the types of children the applicant is considering for adoption
  • Documentation that they are residents of the State of Wyoming

Following the receipt of the above information, the department shall conduct interviews both at the department field office and the applicant's home to provide the information needed to complete an adoptive home study and to assist in the evaluation of the suitability of placement of a child for adoption in that home.

Central registry and fingerprint-based national criminal history record checks shall be completed. Additional information related to the suitability of the applicant for adoption may be required.

Placement Supervision and Reporting

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-111

At the adoption hearing, the court may defer entry of an interlocutory decree of adoption and order the Department of Family Services or a private licensed agency to investigate and report to the court the background of the child and of the petitioners and the medical, social, and psychological background and status of the consenting parent and putative father. After a written report of the investigation is filed, the court shall determine if the adoption by petitioners is in the best interests and welfare of the child.

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-114

Upon the entry of a final decree of adoption, the former parent, guardian, or putative father of the child shall have no right to the control or custody of the child. The adopting persons shall have all of the rights and obligations respecting the child as if they were natural parents.

Adopted persons may assume the surname of the adoptive parent. They are entitled to the same rights of person and property as children and heirs at law of the persons who adopted them.

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 35-1-416(d); 35-1-417(e)

When the State Registrar of Vital Records receives a record of adoption from a court for a person born outside this State, the record shall be forwarded to the appropriate registration authority in the State of birth. For an adoption of a child born in a foreign country, the record of adoption shall be forwarded to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service*, U.S. Department of Justice, or such other office as the Federal government may designate.

The State registrar shall establish a new certificate of birth, on a form he or she prescribes, for a person born in a foreign country upon receipt of a certified copy of the decree of adoption entered pursuant to § 1-22-111(a)(iii) and a request for a new certificate by the court decreeing the adoption, the adoptive parents, or the adopted person.

*As of March 1, 2003, the responsibility for providing immigration-related services was transferred from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The statutes do not yet reflect this change.