If you are pursuing an international adoption, the process once your return to New York depends upon what took place in the foreign country.
Registering a Foreign Adoption
If your child was adopted in the foreign country and you met your child before the adoption, your child will receive an IR-3 visa (non-Hauge country of origin) or an IH-3 visa (Hague country of origin) and your child will become a United States citizen as soon as they reach the United States. Your child’s certificate of citizenship will automatically be sent to you by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Although not required, you should take the final step of registering your foreign adoption in New York. This is a very quick and inexpensive process that provides you with a New York order that is proof of the adoption. This is an important document to have because if the original foreign adoption paperwork is lost or destroyed, it often cannot be replaced by the foreign country. Having the order of registration also allows you to obtain a certificate of birth data from the New York Department of Health by submitting an application and small fee after the order of registration is received.
This process should be completed before your child turns 18 because, after that, an order of registration can be obtained but a certificate of birth data cannot be issued.
If your child was not adopted in the foreign country or was adopted in the foreign country but you did not meet the child before the adoption, the child will receive an IR-4 visa (non-Hauge country of origin) or an IH-4 visa (Hague country of origin) and you will need to readopt your child in New York.Your child will enter the United States as a Legal Permanent Resident.
A readoption follows the same process as a domestic private agency adoption if the child was not adopted in the foreign country and comes into the United States in the custody of an adoption agency or the same process as a domestic private adoption if the child was adopted in the foreign country. For more information on the domestic adoption process, please see our pages on Adopting a Baby, Adoption Home Study, and How to Finalize Your Adoption.
As long as you finalize the readoption before your child turns 18, your child will become a citizen when the adoption finalizes. You will need to apply for a certificate of citizenship for your child by filing Form N-600 with USCIS.There is a substantial fee due at the time of filing this form.
If the readoption is not completed before your child turns 18, your child will need to go through the naturalization process to become a United States citizen.