This is great news for international adoptees in Alabama. The new law applies where the adoption was finalized in the home country and the adoptee has received a Certificate of Citizenship. Adoptees from places like China, Ukraine, and Hungary often fall into this category. Qualifying adoptees will usually have received an IR-3 or IH-3 visa.
The net effect is that qualifying adoptees will no longer have to go through the “re-adopt” process to obtain an Alabama birth certificate.
The new law, called Karina’s Law, went into effect on January 1, 2013. Qualifying adoptees only have to submit certain documents and paperwork to the State Registrar’s office in order to obtain the Alabama birth certificate (along with the small fee for the birth certificate).
Prior to the enacting of this law, there was no provision in Alabama for processing these kinds of adoptions. Local Probate Judges would try to fit the square peg of international adoption into the round of whole of the domestic adoption law.
For more information on obtaining a Certificate of Foreign Birth, see the website for Alabama Department of Public Health.
You can access their form for obtaining the new birth certificate here.
Or, you can contact The Adoption Law Firm for further guidance in the process.
After discussing the new law with Ashley Yeager of Lifeline Children’s Services, it appears that Karina’s Law will help adoptees from 12 of the 14 countries they serve. While each individual case may vary, adoptions from the following countries can expect to benefit from the new streamlined process in January:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
The following countries will ordinarily not benefit from Karina’s Law: