State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad - Maryland

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Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree

Citation: Family Law § 5-3B-04(c)

An order for adoption entered in compliance with a foreign jurisdiction's laws shall have the same legal effect as an order for adoption entered in this State.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption

Citation: Family Law § 5-3B-04(d)

An individual is not required to petition a court in this State for adoption of a child if:

  • The individual adopted the child in compliance with the laws of a foreign jurisdiction.
  • The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services verifies the validity of that adoption by granting, under the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act, an IR-3 visa for the child.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Health-Gen. Code Ann. § 4-211(k)

The Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene shall, upon request, prepare and register a certificate in this State for a person born in a foreign country and who was adopted by a State resident:

  • Through a court of competent jurisdiction in this State
  • Under the laws of a jurisdiction or country other than the United States and who has been granted an IR-3 or IH-3 visa by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service* under the Immigration and Nationality Act

The certificate shall be established upon receipt of:

  • A certificate of adoption from the court decreeing the adoption
  • Proof of the date and place of the adopted person's birth
  • A request from the court, the adopting parents, or the adopted person who is age 18 or older

If the child was adopted under the laws of a jurisdiction or country other than the United States and has been granted an IR-3 or IH-3 visa, the certificate shall be established upon receipt of:

  • An official copy of the decree from the jurisdiction or country in which the child was adopted
  • A certified translation of the foreign adoption decree
  • Proof of the date and place of the child's birth
  • Proof of IR-3 or IH-3 visa status
  • A request from the court, the adopting parents, or the adopted person who is age 18 or older
  • Proof that the adopting parent is a resident of this State

The certificate shall be labeled 'Certificate of Foreign Birth' and shall show the actual country of birth. A statement also shall be included on the certificate indicating that it is not evidence of U.S. citizenship for the child for whom it is issued.

*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. This section of the Maryland Code does not reflect this change.