State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad - Hawaii

Date: April 2018

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-8(c)

In cases in which a child is adopted from a foreign country and is brought into the State, the court, in its discretion, may dispense with a hearing on an adoption petition upon receipt of a sworn affidavit, ex parte, from the adoptive parents requesting that the hearing be dispensed with and upon a finding that the issues it would have reviewed have received full consideration by the country from which the child was adopted and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 338-20.5

The Department of Health shall establish a Hawaii certificate of birth for a person born in a foreign country and for whom a final decree of adoption has been entered in a court of competent jurisdiction in Hawaii, when it receives the following:

  • A properly certified copy of the adoption decree or certified abstract thereof on a form approved by the department
  • A copy of any investigatory report and recommendation that may have been prepared by the Director of Social Services
  • A report on a form approved by the Department of Health setting forth the following:
    • Date of the assumption of custody
    • The sex, color, or race of the child
    • The approximate age of the child
    • The name and address of the adoptive parent(s)
    • The name given to the child by the adoptive parent(s)
    • The true or probable country of birth
    • A request that a new certificate of birth be established
  • The true or probable country of birth shall be known as the place of birth, and the date of birth shall be determined by approximation. This report shall constitute an original certificate of birth.

After preparation of the new birth certificate in the new name of the adopted person, the Department of Health shall seal and file the certified copy of the adoptive decree, investigatory report, and recommendation of the Director of Human Services, if any; the report constituting the original certificate of birth; and the request for a new certificate of birth. The sealed documents may be opened by the department only by an order of a court of record or when requested in accordance with § 578-14.5 or 578-15.

The new certificate of birth shall show the true or probable foreign country of birth and that the certificate is not evidence of U.S. citizenship for the child for whom it is issued or for the adoptive parents.