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Recognition and Effects of Intercountry Adoption


Intercountry adoption based on the Hague Convention follows the letter of the Convention. In this article, let us share the text of the Hague convention and the rule on recognition for intercountry adoption.

Article 23

(1) An adoption certified by the competent authority of the State of the adoption as having been made in accordance with the Convention shall be recognized by operation of law in the other Contracting States. The certificate shall specify when and by whom the agreements under Article 17, sub-paragraph c), were given.

(2) Each Contracting State shall, at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, notify the depositary of the Convention of the identity and the functions of the authority or the authorities which, in that State, are competent to make the certification. It shall also notify the depositary of any modification in the designation of these authorities.

Article 24

The recognition of an adoption may be refused in a Contracting State only if the adoption is manifestly contrary to its public policy, taking into account the best interests of the child..

Article 25

Any Contracting State may declare to the depositary of the Convention that it will not be bound under this Convention to recognize adoptions made in accordance with an agreement concluded by application of Article 39, paragraph 2.

Article 26

(1) The recognition of an adoption includes recognition of

a) the legal parent-child relationship between the child and his or her adoptive parents;

b) parental responsibility of the adoptive parents for the child;

c) the termination of a pre-existing legal relationship between the child and his or her mother and father, if the adoption has this effect in the Contracting State where it was made.

(2) In the case of an adoption having the effect of terminating a pre-existing legal parent-child relationship, the child shall enjoy in the receiving State, and in any other Contracting State where the adoption is recognized, rights equivalent to those resulting from adoptions having this effect in each such State.

(3) The preceding paragraphs shall not prejudice the application of any provision more favorable for the child, in force in the Contracting State which recognizes the adoption.

Article 27

(1) Where an adoption granted in the State of origin does not have the effect of terminating a pre-existing legal parent-child relationship, it may, in the receiving State which recognizes the adoption under the Convention, be converted into an adoption having such an effect –

a) if the law of the receiving State so permits; and

b) if the consents referred to in Article 4, sub-paragraphs c and d, have been or are given for the purpose of such an adoption.

(2) Article 23 applies to the decision converting the adoption.

Is citizenship automatically acquired upon intercountry adoption?

8 U.S. Code § 1431 is the controlling law in the matter. This provision talks about the rule on children born outside the United States and lawfully admitted for permanent residence; conditions under which citizenship is automatically acquired. It provides the following:

A child born outside of the United States automatically becomes a citizen of the United States when all of the following conditions have been fulfilled:

  • At least one parent of the child is a citizen of the United States, whether by birth or naturalization.
  • The child is under the age of eighteen years.
  • The child is residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence.

Children of military and Federal Government personnel residing abroad

In the case of a child who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States if

  • the child is residing in the legal and physical custody of a citizen parent who is
    • stationed and residing abroad as an employee of the Government of the United States; or
    • residing abroad in marital union with an employee of the Government of the United States who is stationed abroad; or
  • the child is residing in the legal and physical custody of a citizen parent who is—
    • stationed and residing abroad as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States; or
    • authorized to accompany and reside abroad with a member of the Armed Forces of the United States pursuant to the member’s official orders, and is so accompanying and residing abroad with the member in marital union; and
    • authorized to accompany such member and reside abroad with the member pursuant to the member’s official orders, and is so accompanying and residing with the member.

Changes in the Name and Birthdate

A Certificate of Citizenship or other Federal document issued or requested to be amended under this section shall reflect the child’s name and date of birth as indicated on a State court order, birth certificate, certificate of foreign birth, certificate of birth abroad, or similar State vital records document issued by the child’s State of residence in the United States after the child has been adopted or readopted in that State.

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The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.

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