State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad - Delaware

Date: April 2018

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13, § 927(a)-(b)

An adoption that is finalized by a court with appropriate jurisdiction in a foreign country is valid if it was issued in accord with the laws of that country and if the child was not brought into the United States until after the adoption was finalized abroad.

A proceeding or decree issued in a foreign country is not valid if the child was brought into the United States before the adoption was finalized abroad, unless the adoption proceedings were in substantial compliance with the adoption laws of Delaware. This subsection does not apply to adoption proceedings or orders initiated in a foreign country as to persons who are not Delaware residents when the adoption proceedings commenced.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13, § 927(c)

Adoptive parents seeking an order certifying the validity of their foreign adoption decree shall file the decree with the family court in the county in which they reside. An affidavit shall be filed with the decree indicating that the decree was issued in accordance with the laws of the issuing jurisdiction and that the adopted child was not brought into Delaware until the adoption was finalized. The name by which the child is to be known shall be included in the affidavit.

The court shall review the affidavit, decree, and other documents, and if the adoption meets the requirements of this section, the court shall issue an order certifying the validity of the adoption that will include the child's American name.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 16, § 3126

Upon the issuance of a final decree of adoption or of an order certifying the validity of a foreign adoption, the clerk of the court in which the decree of adoption was made, or filed in the case of a foreign adoption under title 13, § 927, shall immediately file in the office of the State registrar a report setting forth the information required by title 13, § 921, together with a certified copy of the final decree of adoption.

Upon receipt of the information, the State registrar shall file a new certificate setting forth the adopted name and sex of the child, together with the names of the adopting parents and the actual birth date and birthplace of the child. Certificates may be issued in accordance with § 3110 of this title.

In the event of a child born outside of the United States who is adopted in Delaware and for whom no certificate of birth can be secured from the nation of birth, the State registrar may file and issue a special certificate of birth in accordance with this chapter, provided the adopting parents can furnish evidence considered satisfactory by the State Registrar of the facts and circumstances surrounding the birth of the child.