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Ala. procedures change for children adopted from foreign countries

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Alabama residents who are U.S. citizens and in the process of adopting or have just adopted a child born in a foreign country may no longer need to re-adopt the child in an Alabama court to obtain a Certificate of Foreign Birth.

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, a new state law gives the State Registrar of Vital Statistics authority to issue a Certificate of Foreign Birth without re-adoption in an Alabama court if certain criteria are satisfied.

Gov. Robert Bentley signed Act 2012-179 into law on April 10, 2012, which facilitates intercountry adoptions. The Alabama Department of Public Health has notified probate judges and adoption agencies in the state about the new law, supporting documents needed and fees required.

The "Application to Prepare a Certificate of Foreign Birth" requires the following documentation:

·        The child's Certificate of Citizenship

·        A certified copy of the child's foreign birth certificate and certified English translation

·        The original documents related to the foreign adoption certified by the U.S. Embassy abroad and certified English translation

·        The Social Security card of the child

·        A valid government-issued picture identification of parent or parents, such as a passport, driver's license, or military identification

·        Proof of current residency of the parent or parents in Alabama.

Parents must send copies of all of the documents listed in order for the birth certificate to be prepared without judicial proceedings. If the parents are unable to provide the required documents to the Center for Health Statistics, an adoption through an Alabama court will still be required.

If the child was born in another country to a U.S. citizen, the parents will need to contact the U.S. State Department at (202) 955-0307 or visit the website: www.travel.state.gov.

For more information, request to speak with an adoption specialist at (334) 206-2644 or (334) 206-3060 or visit www.adph.org/vitalrecords/. Requests for application forms should be sent to Vital Records—Adoptions Section, P.O. Box 5625, Montgomery, Ala. 36103-5625.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Department of Public Health

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