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International Adoptions | Adoption Law Center

International Adoptions

Intercountry adoptions are heavily regulated and often involve a lengthy wait. The parental rights of the birth parents are terminated in the child’s country of birth before the child is matched with an adoptive family. Families should first identify the country from which they want to adopt, and then choose an adoption agency that can serve as the primary provider.


The Hague Adoption Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption enabled standardization of and cooperation among Hague Countries. Referred to as the Hague Convention, countries that have signed the Convention are called Convention Countries. The Hague Convention is designed to protect children from abduction and trafficking as well as ensure that children leaving the country are free for adoption. There has been a sharp decline in international adoptions in the United States since signing the Hague Convention in 2008.


The Adoption Law Center works with families, agencies, and immigration attorneys to help make adoption as painless as possible. The type of visa the child has when he or she enters the U.S. determines the adoption procedure. There are several legal mechanisms for ensuring your adoption is legally secure and that your child is recognized as a United States citizen. We recommend families file a Petition for Readoption, which results in both a Final Decree of Adoption issued by a U.S. court and a Certificate of Foreign Birth, which is comparable to a Tennessee birth certificate.


If an adoption decree was entered in the child’s birth country comparable to a U.S. adoption decree, the child will be issued an IR-3 or IH-3 visa. IR means Immediate Relative. IH indicates a Hague Convention Country. These children are granted U.S. citizenship automatically. The Adoption Law Center strongly advises a readoption in all international cases. Having a Report of Foreign Birth will make everyone’s lives easier. The U.S. adoption decree also provides security for families in case the foreign nation does not maintain proper birth and adoption records or if the records are destroyed or difficult to access.


Readoption is an abbreviated process because the child has already been legally adopted in the country of birth. Your attorney will ask you to provide copies of the following documents: your child’s birth certificate, abandonment or termination of parental rights orders, and adoption decree. We will also need a copy of the certified translation of these documents. The home study and waiting period are not required. These cases can be heard shortly after filing the petition since there is no Respondent that must be served or given an opportunity to answer the petition.


The Adoption Law Center has relationships with many international adoption agencies and lawyers that specialize in this complex area of law. Contact us now at 615-543-8640 or [email protected]!

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Jenny Hall! I have 2 children adopted from Guatemala. I was never told by my adoption agency that readoption in the state of Tennessee was necessary. Jenny informed me that it had to be done before my son’s 18th birthday. We literally had 3 weeks to get it completed. Jenny was awesome!!! She got the paperwork ready quickly, and submitted to the court. The adoptions were finalized in plenty of time. I highly recommend Jenny!! I appreciate her so much for helping my family!!

Renee Lively

What to Expect



TN Report of Foreign Birth issued