A Florida readoption, otherwise known as Florida recognition of foreign adoption, is usually the last legal step on your adoption journey when adopting internationally.
There are two reasons to do a readoption in Florida:
1. A readoption solidifies the parent-child relationship under Florida law. Even if the adoption laws of the country of birth change, your adoption will be unaffected once the domestication of foreign adoption is complete. For example, orphanages can be shut down, relationships between the U.S. and other countries can change. A readoption in Florida prevents those events from affecting your status with your child.
2. A readoption gives you a Florida certificate of foreign birth. An official document from Florida is more easily presentable and accepted by various organizations and institutions, such as schools and government offices. Plus, if you lose the Florida certificate, you can quickly and easily get another.
As part of the Florida readoption process, you’ll be able to change your child’s name so that his or her English name is on the birth certificate.
Is a Florida Readoption Required?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If your child has a IR-3 or IH-3 visa, then you do not have to readopt. However, there are still good reasons for completing a readoption, as outlined above. On the other hand, if your child has a IR4 or IH-4 visa, you must do a readoption to complete the citizenship process. Most children adopted in a foreign country have a IR-3 or IH-3 visa.
How Long does a Florida Readoption Take?
About 1-2 months from start to finish.
Do you Need an Attorney for a Readoption?
No. However, keep in mind that the judge is not going to bend the rules or overlook the legal requirements for a readoption just because you are trying to do it yourself. I know that my clients have already spent a substantial amount of money in completing the foreign adoption, so I strive to make my fees affordable.