FAQ'S ABOUT POST PLACEMENT AND RE-ADOPTION
What is a Post-Placement Report?
A post-placement report also known as post placement supervision, is a report that is conducted after the placement of a child in the home. After you return home with your child a social worker will visit your home and write a report about how the placement is going, how the child is adjusting to the home and how you are adjusting to the child. Post Adoption Supervision is required to finalize a domestic adoption and is strongly recommended in the case of international adoption in order to re-adopt the foreign born child in the United States.
What is re-adoption and why should we consider doing this?
Re-adoption is required in order to obtain a certificate of US citizenship for children who were brought to the US on an IR4 visa. This type of visa is usually issued if only one parent traveled to the country to adopt the child or if the child was brought by escort. You also might need to re-adopt if the name of your child on the foreign birth certificate is not the name exactly as you would prefer it. In a re-adoption you can receive a Virginia birth certificate and a final decree changing the name to the one you want for the child. Another reason to readopt is that it is awkward for the child to have a birth certificate in a foreign language. It is difficult to go through life with only one original of a birth certificate, as this document is needed for many different occasions and applications. Furthermore, if you misplace your documents from the foreign country, you can usually never replace them. You can always get new birth certificates from a state's vital records department once the court has issued an order for the preparation of a new birth certificate. Finally, not all courts readily recognize a final decree from another country even though they should.
In Virginia, you or your attorney can file a petition in the Circuit Court of your county. The child must be in your custody and physical possession for at least six months before you are permitted to file. The petition must be typed up and double spaced with a form VS 21, and an Order of Reference. File the petition with numbered exhibits. Usually these would include the final decree of adoption from the foreign country, the birth certificate that was issued in the country and the English translation of these documents. Check with the adoption clerk in your county to find out the current filing fee. Sometimes the courts require payment by money order or certified check. Each court has its own rules, as to the number of original petitions and copies required at the time of filing. Check with the court clerk of the circuit court in the county where you reside.
A re-adoption cannot be completed without post placement supervision by an adoption agency. It should be the same agency that did the home study. If you file the petition before the child has been in the home for over a year, three post-placement visits by the adoption agency are required. If the child has been in the home for one year, it is possible to file with only one visit and a court report. The agency post placement visit should be fairly recent. Otherwise, another visit may be required before the agency will prepare a report providing the detailed information required by the court. You must provide the agency with a complete list of fees paid in connection with the adoption and this is reported to the court by the agency. Remember that in addition to the required visits for the re-adoption, certain countries require post-placement supervision as well.
Once the petition is filed, we will receive a copy of everything that was filed and we will prepare a report for the court based on our home visits after the placement of the child and the home study. We are granted 90 days to complete our report. When it is submitted to court, we will send you or the attorney who filed the petition a notice (a Certificate of Service) to let you know that it was submitted. You or your attorney should then submit the final decree of adoption to the court and request that the case be given to the judge to sign the final decree of adoption. The judge cannot sign the final decree until at least 21 days have passed from the time the Certificate of Service was signed and mailed. Once the final decree has been received, you can file for a new birth certificate from Virginia Vital Records in Richmond. It will take up to six months for the court order to be received from the court in Vital Records, so it can take a long time to receive the new birth certificate. The Virginia birth certificate will state on it the place of birth of the child and will state "Not proof of citizenship". If you want proof of US citizenship, you can file for a passport or for a naturalization paper by filing with the US Immigration Service.