State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad - Missouri

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Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 453.170(2)

When an adoption occurs in a foreign country and the adopted child migrates to the United States with the permission of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service,* this State shall recognize the adoption.

*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.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 453.170(3)

The adoptive parent or parents may petition the court pursuant to this section to request a change of name. The petition shall include a certified copy of the decree of adoption issued by the foreign country and documentation from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service that shows the child lawfully entered the United States. The court shall recognize and give effect to the decree of the foreign country and grant a decree of recognition of the adoption and shall change the name of the adopted child to the name given by the adoptive parent, if such a request has been made.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 453.170(2); 193.125(9)

The Department of Health and Senior Services shall issue a birth certificate for the adopted child upon request and upon receipt of proof of adoption as required in § 193.125(7). The department, upon receipt of proof that a person has been adopted by a Missouri resident pursuant to the laws of countries other than the United States, shall prepare a birth certificate in the name of the adopted child as decreed by the court of such country.

If such proof contains the surname of either adoptive parent, the department shall prepare a birth certificate as requested by the adoptive parents. Any subsequent change of the name of the adopted child shall be made by a court of competent jurisdiction. The proof of adoption required by the department shall include:

  • A copy of the original birth certificate and adoption decree
  • An English translation of the birth certificate and adoption decree
  • A copy of the approval of the immigration of the adopted person by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service that shows the child lawfully entered the United States

The authenticity of the translation of the birth certificate and adoption decree shall be sworn to by the translator in a notarized document. The State registrar shall file the documents relating to the adoption, and the documents may be opened by the State registrar only by an order of a court.

A birth certificate shall be issued upon request of one of the adoptive parents or the adopted person if he or she is of legal age. The birth certificate prepared pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall have the same legal weight as evidence as a delayed or altered birth certificate, as provided in §§ 193.005 to 193.325.