International Adoption: Post-Adoption Reports

If you're adopting internationally, your child's home country may want to keep tabs on your child's growth long after the adoption's final. Learn more about this important paperwork here.

In most international adoptions, your child will become an American citizen the second she steps on U.S. soil, thanks to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. You'll receive her Certificate of Citizenship about a month after you return home, and you'll be able to get a passport and other documentation after that.

While your child will now be an American citizen, it doesn't mean that her birth country doesn't want to keep tabs on her. Many countries now ask for post-adoption reports--usually only for a year or two after the adoption has been finalized, but some countries require them annually until age 18. Your social worker will visit with you to hear about your child's progress, observe how well you and your child are bonding, and include a few pictures of your home life as well.

While these check-ins may seem like a hassle, they serve an important purpose. "The countries that require post-adoption reports have best interests of children in mind," says Ambassador Janice Jacobs, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs for the U.S State Department. "They want to track the child's development and see how well she is settling into the family and country, so they know the children are getting appropriate care and protection." Missed post-adoption reports reflect badly on the agency and our country, so the State Department urges all adoptive parents to comply. "Failing to do it may put intercountry adoption programs at risk for future adoptive parents."

copyright 2012 Meredith Corporation.