Understanding International Adoption In Pennsylvania: Citizenship

Posted on November 24th, 2020

When you are trying to expand your family via means of adoption, the process can be stressful. The waiting, the appointments, and home visits, it’s enough to make you think it just isn’t going to happen. But then it does, and that missing piece in your life has been filled. While obviously, it’s not that easy, the adoption process is only further complicated when you are attempting international adoption in Pennsylvania. While the process of getting your child home is a large part of the battle, you then need to work within the court and legal confines to obtain citizenship in the country for your new child.

International, Foreign Adoption: Child’s Citizenship

Depending on the circumstances, you may have adopted a child who was born in another country, but their adoption had been domesticated in the Pennsylvania legal system. From there, you will have to submit a form that gives your child legal status in the United States, so long as you or your partner are a U.S. and Pennsylvania citizen. Once this has been completed, the state will issue you a Pennsylvania birth certificate for the child.

However, in cases where the child is not a U.S. citizen when the “Certificate of Adoption of a Foreign-Born Child” is issued by the courts, you will need to undergo an additional step to change your child’s citizenship. This is done by submitting the child’s passport, certificate of citizenship, and a birth correction statement.

From there, the courts will update the child’s information and you will be able to request a new birth certificate and accompanying documentation.

Do I need a family law attorney for international adoption?

Like any other form of adoption in Pennsylvania, there are many steps in the process before the child gets to come home to you. While you may be eager to get through the process, it is always a good idea to have a family law attorney well-versed in the adoption process who can help you meet every deadline, meeting, and filing that will need to be completed for the process to go smoothly.

In addition, there are also nationwide agencies that can connect you with international adoption possibilities. The agencies and organizations include:

  • Living Hope Adoption Agency
  • World Links International Adoption Agency
  • Holt International

American Adoptions, a private adoption agency, also offers the following steps you will need to follow to begin the process.

  • 1. Selecting a country you wish to adopt a child from.
  • 2. Determine which Pennsylvania agency will you work with
  • 3. Completion of a home study
  • 4. Becoming eligible for international adoption
  • 5. Filing for the child’s adoption eligibility
  • 6. Securing your travel Visas and returning home
  • 7. Re-adopting or finalizing the adoption in your home state

The process can be complicated. But getting a team to help you through it can make all of the difference.

International Adoption: Kalinoski Law Offices P.C.

If you are considering international adoption or utilizing the adoption services in Pennsylvania, you will likely need a family law attorney who can aid you in the adoption process to ensure that the right choice is made for your family, the child, and the child’s biological parents.

If you have questions about international adoption for our experienced Scranton family lawyer, call or use our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

Category: Family Law

Share this Post
Craig Kalinoski
Craig Kalinoski

Craig P. Kalinoski is a respected attorney serving clients in Scranton, Pennsylvania. With a focus on Family Law, Criminal Defense, and Civil Rights, he has established himself as a top-rated legal professional. Recognized as a Rising Star and admired by peers, Craig's commitment to excellence sets him apart in the legal field.


We fight for the rights of our clients in a wide spectrum of practice areas, ranging from criminal defense to family law and personal injury.

Back to Top