State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad - Iowa

Date: April 2018

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.15

A decree establishing a parent-child relationship by adoption that is issued pursuant to due process of law by a court of any other jurisdiction within or outside the United States shall be recognized in this State.

For an adoption based on a decree issued by a jurisdiction outside the United States, an investigator shall conduct a postplacement investigation that consists of a minimum of three face-to-face visits with the minor person and the adoptive parents during the first year after the placement, with the first such visit to be conducted within 60 days of the placement of the minor person in the adoptive home. Additional visits shall be conducted if required by the jurisdiction that issued the decree.

The postplacement investigation and report shall include documentation that any unique needs of the minor person are being appropriately met through the placement.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 144.25A; Admin. Code § 641-96.11

The Department of Public Health shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 17A to establish a procedure for the issuance of a certificate of birth for children adopted pursuant to § 600.15.

In regulation: A certificate of foreign birth shall be established by the State registrar for a child born in a foreign nation upon the State registrar's receipt of a completed Certificate of Adoption Report form from an Iowa court of competent jurisdiction or upon request of the resident adoptive parents and the State registrar's receipt of all of the following documents:

  • The authenticated adoption decree in both the foreign language and the English translation or a certified copy of an adoption decree from an Iowa court
  • If the decree does not contain information to establish the certificate of foreign birth, the adoptee's authenticated birth certificate in both the foreign language and the English translation
  • Evidence of the adoptee's permanent residence, such as a passport or citizenship papers
  • A certified copy of the certificate of live birth of each adoptive parent
  • A notarized statement that is on letterhead from the licensed adoption agency or certified adoption investigator and that establishes the parents were residents of Iowa at the time the adoption was final in the foreign nation, unless the parents' Iowa address is shown in the adoption documents

The certificate of foreign birth shall not constitute U.S. citizenship.

The evidence presented shall be on file only at the State registrar's office, and all supporting documentation shall be placed in a sealed file that shall be opened only by order of a court of competent jurisdiction or for vital records administrative purposes.