Robert H. Klima, P.C.
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When Does a Foreign Born Child Become a Citizen?

When a child is adopted in a foreign country and brought to the United States, the question arises as to when that child becomes a United States citizen.  This is governed by the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, Sections 320 and 322.

While the act does provide that in some situations, but not all, citizenship is automatic, this does not solve the problem of proving US citizenship in order to obtain a driver's license or a passport.  It is always a good idea to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship by filing an N-600 Application fo a Certificate of Citizenship with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.  

In some situations, the CIS will not issue the Certificate of Citizenship unless it is proven that the child was adopted in the US.  This means, that it is almost always necessary to Readopt the child in the US.

Unfortunately, many adoptive parents are so exhausted and financially drained that they do not follow up with this last important step.  A Readoption under Virginia law is not difficult if it is done relatively promptly.  If parents wait too long, they will find that a new Home Study has to be prepared because the agency involved in the foreign adoption will not file the required report if too much time has gone by without doing everything over again.  This adds time, hassle and expense.

So those who adopt in a foreign county must understand that a readoption is not really an option.  It needs to be done and you cannot wait too long to do it.

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