Re-adoption requirements are based on the type of visa the children received in Ethiopia. An IR-4 visa means that the children enter the country without permanent citizenship and receive a green card upon entry. In this case, citizenship is not automatic and re-adoption is required by law. Most Ethiopian children enter the country on IR-4 visas. A child will receive an IR-4 unless BOTH parents saw the child before the adoption was finalized in Ethiopia.
Early in the process I decided to get an IR-3 visa. I made that decision for two reasons. Primarily because Illinois has an additional requirement that an adoptive parent become a licensed foster parent and then readopt. To get an IR-3 visa means that I have to travel to Ethiopia twice. My father and I will go right after learning of the referral to meet the kids and do a little sight seeing. I will return to Ethiopia and bring them home after the adoption has been finalized. With an IR-3 visa the children are granted automatic citizenship and receive a Certificate of Citizenship.
Nothing in international adoption is ever as straight forward at it first seems. Here is the rub. With an IR-3 visa Illinois re-adoption is recommended:
- To get a US Birth Certificate. However, with an IR-3 visa you can get a US birth certificate through the Illinois Department of Public Health without re-adoption. IDPH requires surrendering the Ethiopian birth certificate in exchange.
- To legally change the child's name. If the new birth certificate is given by IDPH it will have the name as it is on the Ethiopian birth certificate. A name change would have to be completed in a separate proceeding.
- Jurisdiction. Some parents are concerned that without re-adopting the adoption may not be valid in other states (if they move). Though all states do not recognize foreign adoption, they do have to recognize an Illinois adoption.